When the 2015 World Series delivers its first pitch on Tuesday, the New York Mets will have a clear advantage over opponent Kansas City Royals — at least in terms of potential TV viewership.
Fox Sports hopes to reap the benefits of having the top media market in the country participating, though the Queens-based team’s opponent won’t help matters much as far as Nielsen set-top box data goes.
Kansas City, meanwhile, is merely the 31st largest market — meaning that is unlikely to generate as many viewers to the game even if it draws a larger percentage of viewers.
Overall, the potential for big audience figures is still better than last year. In 2014, those same Royals lost to the San Francisco Giants in seven games. While the No. 6 San Francisco-Oakland market is nothing to sneeze at, it simply isn’t No. 1.
Of course, the best thing that can happen to Fox and MLB is another tight, competitive seven-game series.
The 2014 match-up between the American League’s Royals and National League’s Giants didn’t look so hot from the start: According to Nielsen’s metered market ratings, Game 1 was the lowest-rated opener ever. Viewership got stronger as the series went on.
But by the time of the seven game, those 56 metered markets posted Fox’s best non-NFL rating since the same series-deciding contest in 2011.
And the local markets had huge nights. San Francisco saw a 38.8/64 — the best MLB rating since Game 7 of the 2002 World Series. In Kansas City, the monstrous 58.3/77 is the best rating on record for an MLB game — and a significantly higher percentage than its more populous rival.
To be fair, Kansas City was not a metered market when the Royals last appeared in the World Series, in 1985.
The 2015 World Series begins tonight at 8:07 p.m. ET on Fox.