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Two nights in, the 2016 World Series is still off to an exceptional start.
Wednesday’s second outing between the Cleveland Indians and the Chicago Cubs, a much more exciting game thanks to Cubs pitcher Jake Arrieta flirting with a no-hitter for much of the game, earned a preliminary 11.3 overnight rating among households.
The strong metered-market showing on Fox, more than a 20 percent improvement from the comparable game last year, continues the very favorable ratings performance for this year’s bid for the MLB championship. Tuesday night’s preliminary numbers, a 12.6 overnight rating among households, translated to the best World Series start since 2009 — 19.4 million viewers and a 5.6 rating among adults 18-49.
Early Wednesday ratings are not far off from the prior night, and that’s with the first hour of the game airing outside of primetime. Officials moved the game up to 7 p.m. ET in hopes of avoiding bad weather.
With two games down, the Cleveland-Chicago series is tracking on par with 2009 — though still not quite so high as the lofty highs of 2004, when the Boston Red Sox locked up their first World Series win in 86 years.
The 1:1 series, which saw Chicago come back with a 5-1 victory on Wednesday, is also shaping up to be a more competitive one, with the whole thing now locked to go for at least five games.
Chicago also has the advantage of returning to its home turf on Friday. That’s when the teams next meet at Wrigley Field.
As was the case on Tuesday, nearly all broadcast competition saw modest losses in the face of the World Series, though nothing fell dramatically.
ABC narrowly edged out CBS for No. 2 status with small dips for The Goldbergs (1.7 adults), Speechless (1.6 adults), Modern Family (2.2 adults) and Black-ish (1.7 adults). Designated Survivor took the night’s steepest hit, falling nearly 20 percent in the key demographic to a 1.3 rating. At least that score still tied it for the top drama in its time slot, matching CBS’ Chicago P.D. (1.3 adults).
On CBS, Survivor (1.8 adults), Criminal Minds (1.6 adults) and Code Black (1.0 adults) were all off incrementally from the previous episodes. NBC had new outings of Blindspot (1.1 adults) and Law & Order (1.4 adults). The latter joined The CW’s Arrow (0.7 adults) as the most stable scripted series of Wednesday night. The CW also aired a new Frequency with a 0.3 rating among adults 18-49.
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