The World Series concluded on Wednesday night when the Texas Rangers took the field to celebrate the team’s first championship.
But relatively few people saw the effort it took to get there.
According to Nielsen, this year’s game between the Rangers and Arizona Diamondbacks had the lowest viewership of any World Series since records were set in the 1960s.
The five games averaged 9.1 million viewers, displacing the 2020 World Series, which averaged 9.8 million following the pandemic-shortened season. Additionally, the 2020 World Series was played in a neutral stadium, depriving broadcasts of the crowd energy that fuel championship broadcasts.
Monday night’s Game 3 had only 8.12 million viewers, making it the least-watched World Series game since the record was set. Game 2 fared slightly better with 8.15 million viewers. The previous low was Game 3 of the 2020 World Series – played between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Tampa Bay Rays – which was watched by 8.34 million people.
The decisive fifth game on Wednesday night had the largest audience of the series – 11.5 million.
Low ratings in cities whose teams were eliminated from the playoffs were not ignored. More than a week after the Rangers defeated the Houston Astros in the American League Championship Series, the Houston Chronicle announced: “Remember us yet? World Series ratings decline as Astros miss playoffs.”
Still, World Series viewership was generally stronger than anything else on network television these days.
For example, Tuesday night’s Game 4 averaged 8.5 million viewers. The next best showing on network television that night was an episode of “The Voice” on NBC, which averaged 5.3 million. On Wednesday, the second most watched show was the episode of “Survivor”, which was watched by 4.9 million viewers, less than half the audience for Game 5.