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With all the year-to-year increases for each game, Fox and the MLB were likely hoping to squeeze more than five games out of the 2015 World Series — but baseball’s annual marquee event wrapped up on Sunday night with a 4:1 series in favor of the Kansas City Royals.
On many occasions besting comparable World Series games over the last six years, final stats for the Sunday finale gave its primetime showing 17.2 million viewers. That’s up 37 percent from the comparable Game 5 in 2014 and a Game 5 best in 2003. And while Fox telecast got a boost from its substantial football lead-in, it still didn’t approach the series-ending 23.5 million viewers that watched Game 7 in 2014.
Sunday marked the first night in the World Series where the game had to face the NFL. NBC’s Sunday Night Football was the biggest show of the night, averaging 23 million viewers, but one place where it baseball definitely had the advantage was Kansas City. The game did astoundingly well in the winners’ hometown, with an estimated 90 percent of TV-owning households tuning in to the game’s climax at 11:30 p.m. CT.
All told, the five-game series averaged 14.7 million viewers — up just 6 percent from the seven-game average last year. Prior to Sunday’s wrap-up, the 2015 World Series had been averaging 14 million viewers per game. That’s up 18 percent from the previous year.
All of the added sports competition took its toll on scripted series. Quantico, averaging a 1.2 rating among adults 18-49 on ABC, dropped three-tenths of a point to its same-day low. And both the Good Wife (0.9 adults) and Madam Secretary (1.1 adults) fell by two-tenths of a point on CBS.
The night’s biggest scripted show (Once Upon a Time with a 1.5 rating in the key demo) and most middling (Blood and Oil and CSI: Cyber, each with a 0.8 adults), were steady against sports.
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