8:04am PT by Michael O'Connell
TV Ratings: World Series Surges
With one win a piece, the Chicago Cubs and the Cleveland Indians headed into the Game 3 of the World Series with rather exciting odds and eight-year ratings highs.
Early returns for Friday night's game, the first played at Chicago's Wrigley Field since 1945, continue the strong numbers narrative for Fox. Nielsen returns give primetime coverage of the Indians' 1-0 win a 12.4 overnight rating among metered markets. That's up 36 percent from the comparable Game 3 score last year, giving the showdown a World Series Game 3 best since 2005. It's also a considerable jump from Game 2, nearly matching the start of the series.
The game was scoreless for the first two hours, with the Indians notching the first and only run in the seventh inning.
Game 3 continued the ratings hot streak for this series, which is up 25 percent from 2015 and averaging 18.4 million viewers for the first two games. This year's matchup easily ranks as the most-watched and highest-rated since 2009. The atypical ratings success for Major League Baseball is a welcome respite from the less favorable football numbers of late. The first two games of the World Series have bested viewership for any primetime NFL game for the month of October.
The Cubs will have a chance to even the series again on Saturday night. Game 4 is set for 8 p.m. ET/ 5 p.m. PT, again on Fox.