The Texas Rangers and Arizona Diamondbacks fans had a big night watching their teams compete in the World Series, but the same can’t be said for the rest of the nation. This year’s championship games saw the lowest recorded audience of any World Series.
Texas Rangers dominated the series, ending a 62-year long drought by winning the last game in a 5-0 shutout. However, Nielsen and Fox reported an average of 9.11 million viewers tuned in for each game of the World Series, a 23% decrease compared to last year when the Houston Astros beat the Philadelphia Phillies and netted 11.78 million views per game, at the time the second lowest ranking series in MLB history.
As more people cut ties with cable, linear television is losing its footing as the go-to place for all things sports. Nielsen said streaming had hit a new peak, raking in 38.7% of total TV usage in July. Several leagues, including the MLB, NFL, and WNBA, are turning to streaming to expand their reach.
Fans who sign up for Prime Video can catch NFL, MLB, NBA League Pass, One Championship, Women’s National Basketball Association, and Overtime Baseball with PrimeSports. MLB fans can catch games on Hulu, Peacock, YouTube TV, Fubo, Sling TV, Apple TV+, DIRECTV Stream, or for free on MLB.TV, giving fans ample opportunity to watch, but still, viewership is trailing behind previous seasons.
Network executives assumed this year would have a low turnout due to the team’s lack of national appeal.
“I think it’s a good thing for the health of baseball to have new pennant winners and new champions, new teams playing in the World Series,” Mike Mulvihill, executive vice president and head of strategy and analytics for Fox, told AP News. “You don’t want it to be the same market and the same brands every year. But I admit it is difficult for ratings in the short term when you’ve got some brands paired up that don’t really have traditional national brands.”
While both teams are well received in their home states, they don’t have a large fan base to boost ratings even during championship games, according to AP News. Although this World Series was a major milestone for Texas Rangers and their fans, the moment fell a bit flat with the rest of the country.