Ratings Roundup: Red Sox Finish on Top After Low-Rated World Series Concludes

Ratings roundup is a rundown of rating news from the past week and is derived from press releases and reports around the industry. In this week’s edition, the Boston Red Sox are crowned champions in a World Series with low numbers, the Rams vs. Packers nailbiter headlines the past week in the NFL, and Univision recaps the month’s world soccer action.

Photo: The New York Times

2018 World Series Viewership Hits Bottom Three in Baseball History
The five-game World Series win by the Boston Red Sox captured the franchise’s fourth title in 14 years. According to SportsMediaWatch, the Fall Classic averaged an 8.3 rating and 14.13 million viewers on FOX, down 22% in ratings and 25% in viewership from Astros-Dodgers last year (10.7, 18.91M) and down 37% and 40% respectively from Cubs-Indians in 2016 (13.1, 23.40M), both of which went seven games. Red Sox-Dodgers is ranked as the lowest rated and least-watched World Series since 2014 (Giants-Royals: 8.2, 13.8M). The 8.3 rating is the third-lowest on record for the Fall Classic, ahead of 2014 and the all-time low set in 2012 (Giants-Tigers: 7.6).

In Game 5, the clinching 5-1 victory on Fox Sunday night delivered an average audience of 17,635,000 viewers, according to Nielsen Media Research. The matchup edged Game 5 of the 2015 Series between the Kansas City Royals and New York Mets, the last time a World Series ended in five games (17,635,000 vs. 17,206,000). Boston’s victory scored 18,452,000 viewers across Fox, Fox Deportes, and Fox Sports streaming platforms.

Game 4 delivered 13,564,000 viewers and peaked at 16,772,000. Game 3’s walk-off by the Dodgers brought in 13,251,000 viewers. This matchup was the most watched World Series game on Fox Deportes. On the digital side, Fox Sports scored an average minute streaming audience of 176,000. Game 2 averaged a 9.9

Packers-Rams Impress in This Week’s NFL Schedule
On Fox’s “America’s Game of the Week”, the Rams-Packers matchup drew a 15.0 metered market rating. The close victory by the Rams was the NFL’s best-metered market rating on any network since the third week of the season. The contest received more viewers than the series-clinching Game 5…

…CBS Sports’ NFL singleheader scored in the ratings with an increase of +13% for Week 8 of the NFL season. The NFL on CBS’ coverage earned a 10.3/22 average household rating/share versus last year’s 9.1/18 in the metered markets. The day’s games were Denver-Kansas City, Jets-Chicago, Cleveland-Pittsburgh, Baltimore-Carolina, and Indianapolis-Oakland…

…The New England Patriots’ 25-6 road victory over the Buffalo Bills – averaged 11 million viewers across ESPN, ESPN2, and ESPN Deportes on Monday Night Football. This is an increase of 4% vs. last year’s Broncos-Chiefs game in week 8, which averaged 10.6 million viewers across the three ESPN networks.

ESPN’s MNF game was the most-watched telecast of the night among all networks, broadcast or cable, in households, viewers, and all key male and adult demos (18-34, 18-49, 25-54). ESPN was also the most-watched network (broadcast or cable) in primetime among those same categories. ESPN has won the night all eight Mondays since the 2018 season started.

Season to-date, Monday Night Football is averaging 11.3 million viewers, up 2% from last year’s average among total viewers (11.1 million) – and up 5% from last year’s full-season average (10.8 million)…

Thursday Night Football, featuring the Houston Texans and the Miami Dolphins, was seen by an average audience of 12.5 million viewers across all platforms, including Fox, NFL Network, Fox Deportes, NFL digital, Fox Sports Digital, Amazon, and Yahoo Sports — up +7% versus last year’s Week 8 Thursday Night Football matchup between the Dolphins and Ravens (TV + digital).

The Nielsen-measured audience was 12.1 million viewers — up +6% versus the 2017 Week 8 Thursday Night Football game. Additionally, Dolphins-Texans scored an 7.5 HH rating — up +7% versus the 2017 Week 8 Thursday Night Football game.

Digital streaming across Amazon Prime Video, Twitch, NFL digital platforms, Fox Sports digital platforms, and Yahoo Sports produced an average minute audience of 546K — an increase of +55% vs. last year’s Week 8 Thursday Night Football matchup.

Amazon Prime Video and Twitch reached a total of 2.0MM combined viewers worldwide for the Fox NFL Thursday pregame show and the Miami Dolphins vs. Houston Texans game. For the Miami Dolphins vs. Houston Texans game alone, 1.7MM worldwide viewers initiated a stream on Prime Video or Twitch. The average worldwide audience watching Thursday Night Football for at least 30 seconds on Prime Video or Twitch was 375K.

United States National Team, MLS and Premier League on US Television
The United States Women’s National Team’s 2-0 victory over Canada in the CONCACAF Women’s Championship Final was the most-watched women’s soccer match in the United States in 2018. The match averaged 736,000 viewers on Fox Sports 1, which is a massive 146% increase from the United State’s semifinal match against Jamaica that saw them qualify for both the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France and the 2019 Pan American Games in Peru. Univision Deportes also contributed an additional 146,000 viewers to the broadcast of the final, making it the most-watched women’s soccer match on Univision’s networks in 2018.

Univision and their networks continue to be the strongest source of MLS viewership since the All-Star break with DC United’s match against the Chicago Fire on October 13 drawing 336,000 on Univision and Univision Deportes. MLS broadcasts on Univision, UniMás, and Univision Deportes are averaging 292,120 viewers across 25 broadcasts so far this season. That number jumps sharply to 340,769 viewers for the 13 matches that were featured on the main Univision network.

Premier League viewership on NBC’s broadcast network is continuing to outperform last season’s numbers, now averaging 837,625 viewers through the first eight broadcasts this season, up nearly 8% from the first eight broadcasts of last season.

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