This just in from the Baseball Health Department: baseball is not dead, and is in fact very much alive and healthy as a horse. (Or a goat … nevermind.)
The ratings for Wednesday’s Game 7 of the World Series are in, and they are stunning. The breathtaking game between the Chicago Cubs and the Cleveland Indians pulled a 25.2 overnight rating, which means that 25.2 percent of all televisions in the U.S. were watching the World Series. More than 40 million people tuned in (40.015 million people to be exact), which makes it the most watched baseball game in the past 25 years.
[Championship gear: Get Chicago Cubs World Series merchandise]
The only two games to surpass it are Games 6 and 7 of the 1991 World Series between the Atlanta Braves and the Minnesota Twins. Game 6 of that series pulled in 40.8 million viewers, and Game 7 had 50.3 million, and that last number seems insane. Though to be honest, 40 million is pretty insane.
If you want more context for how huge these numbers are, here’s a tidbit that should help. Only one game in the past eleven years had more than 25 million viewers: Game 7 of the 2011 World Series. The St. Louis Cardinals beat the Texas Rangers 6-2, and 25.4 million people were watching. On average, the entire 2016 series is the most watched World Series since the Red Sox broke their curse in 2004. Curse-breaking is apparently key to high ratings.
As you might expect, local numbers for the Game 7 broadcast were bonkers. Chicago had the biggest numbers of all local markets with a 71 share. That means of all TVs turned on in the Chicago market, 71 percent were watching the game. (What were the other 29 percent watching!?) According to Forbes, that’s the best rating for an MLB telecast ever recorded. Cleveland was right behind with a 69 share.
The World Series has given Fox some much needed help. According to The Hollywood Reporter, among adults in the coveted 18-49 age demographic, Fox went from No. 4 to No. 2 in just the past month. And Game 7 gave Fox its best night in prime time since 2007.
Baseball is alive and kicking, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
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