Coming off the most-watched World Series in more than a decade, there will almost certainly be a ratings drop come the 2017 Fall Classic. Houston vs. Los Angeles has plenty of story lines and drama, but it’s hard to see it competing with the Chicago Cubs vanquishing a 108-year drought in seven games against a Cleveland club nursing its own 68-year losing streak. But if LCS ratings are any indication, the ‘17 World Series won’t fall off a cliff.
Houston’s Game 7 shutout victory over the Yankees garnered 9.92 million viewers to become the most-watched program in the short history of Fox Sports 1. The game delivered a 2.7 rating among adults 18-49 and was the most-watched League Championship Series (LCS) game since 2010.
Still, the game was well short of the 13.3 million viewers (http://awfulannouncing.com/2008-articles/game-seven-of-the-alcs-was-the-most-watched-mlb-program-on-cable-television-ever.html)
who tuned in for Game 7 of the 2008 American LCS between Tampa Bay and Boston, the last time it went a full seven games.
Game 6 of the ALCS also posted large gains — 46 percent — over the last Game 6, between the Blue Jays and Royals in 2015 with 8.2 million viewers tuning in to watch the Astros pull even with the Yankees at three games a piece. However, the overall Game 6 audience number was less than last year’s 9.7 million in the National LCS between the Dodgers and Cubs (http://www.sportsmediawatch.com/2017/10/alcs-ratings-yankees-astros-game-six-fs1/).
There are a number of factors at play here. The Yankees first visit to the league championship round in five years certainly helped draw ratings in the nation’s number- one media market. It also makes sense that the Game 6 ALCS number was down slightly compared to last year’s NLCS, when interest between the big-market Dodgers and championship-starved Cubs was at a fever pitch.
For Game 1, 6.2 million viewers tuned in, up 50 percent from last year’s Blue Jays/Indians matchup on TBS but down a touch from 2015’s Blue Jays/Royals game, which aired on Fox.
The NLCS went only five games and contained considerably less drama, as the Dodgers ran through the Cubs with relative ease. Still, with the nation’s number-two and -three media markets involved, the series held up.
Overall, the NLCS averaged 6.2 million viewers, down 11 percent from last year’s six-game set and 22 percent from the Mets’ 2015 sweep of the Cubs. Dodgers/Cubs falls into the middle of cable television LCS telecasts, rankings as the fifth most-watched out of 12.
Los Angeles’s clinching Game 5 earned a 3.2 rating and 5.2 million viewers on TBS. That was down 24 percent in ratings from last year (http://www.sportsmediawatch.com/2017/10/nlcs-ratings-dodgers-cubs-tbs-game-five/)