TV Ratings: World Series Opener Draws All-Time Low Audience

World Series - Tampa Bay Rays v Los Angeles Dodgers
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The opening game of the World Series on Tuesday made history — and in terms of TV viewership, not in a good way.

Fox's broadcast of the game averaged 9.2 million viewers, the smallest audience for a World Series game in Nielsen's records of total viewers, dating back to the late 1960s. The Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Tampa Bay Rays, 8-3, to take a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven series, which is being played at a neutral site (Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas) for the first time because of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Tuesday's telecast is down by about 25 percent from the 12.19 million people who watched last year's World Series opener — which was itself a five-year low for game one. The previous viewer low for the World Series as a whole was 9.84 million for game four between the Rays and the Philadelphia Phillies in 2008.

Monday's numbers continue a downward trend for TV sports this fall. Baseball's playoffs as a whole are down more than 30 percent compared to 2019. Yet Fox did lead primetime across the board with its telecast, which also drew a 2.4 rating among adults 18-49.

Also on Tuesday, ABC's The Bachelorette earned the best 18-49 rating in primetime after the World Series. Its 1.2 edged the 1.1 for The Voice on NBC, though the latter easily won the total-viewer battle: 7.73 million to 4.29 million for The Bachelorette. Fox News' Tucker Carlson Tonight (5.22 million) and Hannity (4.98 million) topped the cable chart.

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