World Series Audience Rises 20% From Last Year’s Record Low, but Is Down vs 2019

Can we just forget everything that happened in 2020?

Atlanta Braves Win 2021 World Series

The Atlanta Braves won the 2021 World Series in six games, handing the Houston Astros their second World Series loss in three years. (Don’t feel too badly for Houston, they won the whole thing in 2017 — and cheated along the way.)

This year’s Fall Classic averaged 11.750 million total viewers, up 20% from last year. Tuesday’s deciding Game 6 alone attracted 13.968 million viewers on Fox’s broadcast network. Another 337,000 viewers tuned in via Fox Deportes and Fox Sports’ streaming platforms.

The 2020 World Series, which of course was affected to some extent by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, averaged 9.820 million total viewers across Games 1-6, easily a record low at the time for a World Series. Game 6 alone, the deciding one last year as well, drew 12.705 million viewers.

Having the Los Angeles Dodgers, who play in the second-largest U.S. media market, helped offset some of the 2020 World Series’ COVID challenges, like playing to a limited-capacity crowd in the neutral (yet easygoing when it comes to coronavirus safety protocols) site of Arlington, Texas.

There was also the very real challenge that comes from the fact that no one watches Tampa Bay Rays baseball — live or on TV.

Anyway, the Dodgers won Game 6 last year by the score of 3-1, which is more attractive than last night’s 7-0 blowout.

In 2019, when life was so quaint and simple and there were no capacity restrictions and actual home team fans in the stands, the World Series averaged 12.473 million total viewers from Game 1 to Game 6. Including Game 7, that number jumps to an average of 14.052 million.

That year, Game 6 alone scored 16.533 million total viewers. The deciding Game 7, in which the Washington Nationals defeated the Houston Astros to win the Commissioner’s Trophy, drew 23.187 million viewers.

The longer a series goes, the better it is for TV ratings. Game 7s, which guarantee a winner, are always huge.