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Game 7 of World Series was most watched baseball game since 2004

Oct 29, 2011, 1:11 PM EDT

old TV

Jon Weisman of Variety and the excellent Dodger Thoughts brings word that Game 7 of the World Series between the Rangers and Cardinals drew 23.2 million viewers last night according to preliminary Nielsen estimates, making it the most watched baseball game in seven years.

Weisman notes that the audience could go up by more than a million when a more precise reading is released later this afternoon, but it will almost certainly fall short of Game 4 of the 2004 World Series, which drew 28.8 million viewers when the Red Sox swept the Cardinals to win their first World Championship since 1918.

Game 6 on Thursday night had more than 21 million viewers, so we’re not talking about a tremendous jump here, but while FOX may have garnered bigger ratings if Wednesday’s rainout didn’t ultimately push Game 7 to a Friday, they have to be thrilled this series built buzz throughout and went the distance.

  1. halladaysbiceps - Oct 29, 2011 at 1:27 PM

    I was a great series. But, for the life of me, I am stymied with these ratings. I cannot believe that this game had bigger ratings than the Yankees/Phillies series in 2009. Those are bigger markets. Very perplexing.

    • halladaysbiceps - Oct 29, 2011 at 1:33 PM

      ***It was a great series. I think there is something wrong with the “t” on my laptop. I have been omitting “t’s” as of late.

      I just wished I omitted a “t” the day I created my old handle. :)

    • fearlessleader - Oct 29, 2011 at 1:38 PM

      Philly and New York are certainly larger markets now, but Cardinal blood runs deep, and there were decades when a huge swath of the Midwest and the Plains had a choice between the Cardinals and nothing. More than one generation grew up listening to Caray and Buck on KMOX, and passed on their love of the Redbirds to their kids. I grew up in St. Louis, but I live about as far from there now as you can get without leaving the continental U.S., and I’m consistently amazed at the number (and the passion) of Cardinal fans I meet.

    • Tribe&Browns&Cavs - Oct 29, 2011 at 2:03 PM

      I watched five full games of this series, I was busy the other two. I watch zero total minutes of the Yankees/Phillies. I have no interest in seeing either of those two teams play, and especially win a Series. Just personal preference.

    • cur68 - Oct 29, 2011 at 2:05 PM

      Quality of the series was a big a factor, too. Not the best played, by any means, but the most balanced. The 2 teams were like mirror images of each other and played like it. It was competitive & thus hard to pick the winner. Throw in the history of the teams, memorable management moves, Dirk Nowitzki and “The Wash” dance, the offence, the drama; TV viewing gold, baby. Whoever thought canning Nowitzki to throw out the 1st pitch was a good move needs to be fired, by the way. They have no sense of the viewing public whatsoever. MLB’s reversal on that was the smartest thing the League has done in a long time. This has to be the most entertaining series since 1993.

      • rambodiaz - Oct 29, 2011 at 2:45 PM

        I think the word got out about the series quite a bit. I know lots of casual fans that were tuned into the games; fans that typically might not have watched if it were Yankees or Boston again. Obviously, that’s just my speculation, but it does seem to be different than in other years.

      • cur68 - Oct 29, 2011 at 2:59 PM

        Rambo; All the highlights from 6 on the sports news would have done it. Anyone who saw 6 was just babbling about it; that walk off jack was almost a cliche it was so Cards-perfect. All that LaRussa/Lynn/bullpen phone malarkey really played into it as well. Dirk Nowitzki deserves some credit, too. He was great.

        And, lets be honest here Rambo, all of us after game 6 raving about it on HBT probably had some effect.

        Personally, I’d like to thank Mrs. Diaz for her role in it all. I shall always think of her when I see a McRib commercial…I hope she has a sense of humor…. :)

    • tashkalucy - Oct 29, 2011 at 3:59 PM

      I understand your point!

      We all know that MLB revolves around the Red Sox, yankees and sometimes Phis and Mets.

      You mean people actually tuned in because of the caliber of play?

      What’s this country coming to?

      Now, let’s all take our dumb pills and watch Jersey Shore reruns.

  2. jonweisman - Oct 29, 2011 at 1:36 PM

    2009 Yankees-Phillies audience:
    Game 1: 19.5 million
    Game 2: 18.9 million
    Game 3: 15.4 million (Saturday)
    Game 4: 22.8 million
    Game 5: 17.1 million
    Game 6: 22.3 million

    Overall, the Phillies-Yankees series did better and certainly would have broken 30 million if there had been a Thursday Game 7.

    • D.J. Short - Oct 29, 2011 at 1:53 PM

      Thanks, Jon.

    • Tribe&Browns&Cavs - Oct 29, 2011 at 2:04 PM


  3. mkd - Oct 29, 2011 at 1:38 PM

    Baseball: Hey America, whoever wins this game wins the Championship, so come watch!
    America: Oh thank God, my attention span is practically nonexistent these days. One game for all the marbles is really all I can handle anymore. Just the one game though, right?
    Baseball: Yup.
    America: And whoever wins, wins it all?
    Baseball: Yup.
    America: OK I guess I’ll check it out.
    Baseball: Sweet, thanks. You know Game 6 was really good too. Maybe if you tuned in to…
    America: Don’t press your luck. Go Packers!

  4. Francisco (FC) - Oct 29, 2011 at 1:40 PM

    I liked Game 6 better than Game 7 because of the drama.

  5. badmamainphilliesjamas - Oct 29, 2011 at 2:27 PM

    A 7th game after a memorable 6th game probably caused more casual fans to tune in. Add in the fact that it was Friday night, and maybe some kids who can’t stay up for the weeknight late nights watched, as well. All good for baseball.

  6. wardmanone - Oct 29, 2011 at 2:27 PM

    MKD I would be millionaire if I could pick the winning numbers. BTW I got better chance of that happening then Yankee vs Phillies series playing in WS If we’re money not talent and managerial decisions both would be there every year,but you were saw both teams play so go back down to your basement and play could of should fantasy baseball

    • halladaysbiceps - Oct 29, 2011 at 2:29 PM

      Here, let me throw you some ……………….. and ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, for your comment.

  7. wardmanone - Oct 29, 2011 at 2:30 PM

    MKD & Joenotsowisemen too
    I would be millionaire if I could pick the winning numbers. BTW I got better chance of that happening then Yankee vs Phillies series playing in WS If we’re money not talent and managerial decisions both would be there every year,but you were saw both teams play so go back down to your basement and play could of should fantasy baseball

    • halladaysbiceps - Oct 29, 2011 at 2:32 PM

      Some more ………………. and ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, for your duplicate comment.

  8. aceshigh11 - Oct 29, 2011 at 3:05 PM

    I only wish I had watched Game 6 in real-time. Watching the highlight reel had me kicking myself and left my jaw on the floor.

    However, I did watch Game 7…congrats to the Cardinals.

    • umrguy42 - Oct 29, 2011 at 9:35 PM

      aces, I wish I hadn’t turned it off after Hamilton’s 2-run HR in the top of the 10th (I was so pissed, it was midnight, and I really didn’t want to see the Rangers celebrate on the my home team’s field).

      • umrguy42 - Oct 29, 2011 at 9:36 PM

        *on my home team’s field.


      • Francisco (FC) - Oct 30, 2011 at 11:46 PM

        Oh ye of little faith! I hope you learned your lesson!

  9. bcjim - Oct 29, 2011 at 5:17 PM

    Suck on that NE slums.

  10. florida76 - Oct 29, 2011 at 7:00 PM

    To put everything in the proper context, Game 7 of the 1985 World Series between the Royals and Cards attracted 47 million viewers. The Super Bowl is still getting fantastic ratings, so the difference in popularity of both is on full display during the showcase games.

    • umrguy42 - Oct 29, 2011 at 9:38 PM

      Florida, thanks, that actually *does* put it in perspective – current numbers are like 1/12th to 1/13th of the current US population (300+ million) – that would’ve been easily 1/6th to 1/5th…

    • Reflex - Oct 29, 2011 at 10:57 PM

      Not really an accurate comparison. Back then people didn’t have hundreds of tv channels to choose from, and the handful they had avoided running anything significant against the World Series. Very very different media market today.

  11. mgflolox - Oct 30, 2011 at 1:00 AM

    I think media market size has very little to do with WS ratings. The best rated WS usually are the ones that build on the drama and outcome every night. I’m from the Bay Area and I can clearly remember the ’91 Series, my friends and co-worders were talking about it because the games themselves were so tension filled and the drama kept on building throughout. The ’75 Series didn’t involve the biggest media markets, but is still remembered because it was simply great baseball. That’s what draws people in to watch.

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