The World Series won by the Los Angeles Dodgers drew record-low viewership, just like the NBA Finals earlier in the fall, according to live-plus-same-day figures released Tuesday by Nielsen.
Fox’s coverage of the Dodgers’ six-game victory over the Tampa Bay Rays averaged 9.771 million viewers. The previous record low was 12.64 million viewers for the San Francisco Giants’ four-game sweep of the Detroit Tigers in 2012.
Each of the first five games of the Series between the Dodgers and Rays averaged fewer viewers than any World Series game on record before this year — available records date back to 1968. Viewership for all six games set record lows.
The Dodgers’ 8-3 victory over Tampa Bay in Game 1 on Oct. 20 averaged 9.268 million viewers, erasing the previous low of 10.219 million for Game 4 of last year’s Series between the Washington Nationals and Houston Astros.
The Rays’ 6-4 victory in Game 2 the following day drew even less, 9.105 million viewers. The Dodgers’ 6-2 victory in Game 3 Oct. 23 set another record low, 8.156 million viewers.
Tampa Bay’s 8-7 victory in Game 4 on Oct. 24 when the winning run scored on an error on the final at-bat averaged 9.332 million viewers.
The Dodgers’ 4-2 victory in Game 5 on Oct. 25 averaged 10.059 million viewers, while their 3-1 Series-clinching victory last Tuesday averaged 12.704 million viewers, fourth among prime-time programs between Oct. 26 and Sunday, behind NBC’s “Sunday Night Football,” Fox’s seven-minute NFL postgame show and the nine-minute “Sunday Night Football” kickoff show.
Despite the record lows, all but Game 5, which aired opposite NBC’s “Sunday Night Football,” were their night’s most-watched program.
The week’s most-watched program — and one of six averaging more 9 million viewers — was the Philadelphia Eagles’ 23-9 victory over the Dallas Cowboys on NBC’s “Sunday Night Football,” which averaged 16.933 million viewers.
For the second consecutive week, the CBS News magazine “60 Minutes” was the most-watched non-sports program, averaging 8.788 million viewers, seventh overall.
The NBC singing competition “The Voice” was the most-watched entertainment program for the second consecutive week, with last Tuesday’s episode averaging 7.767 million viewers, eighth overall.
The two-hour season premiere of “This Is Us” which followed averaged 7.313 million viewers, the most for a scripted program since the May 1 season finale of the CBS crime drama “Blue Bloods” averaged 8.528 million.
“This Is Us” was 12th for the week, sixth among non-sports programs and third among entertainment programs, also trailing the Oct. 26 episode of “The Voice,” which averaged 7.606 million viewers.
Both last Tuesday’s episode of “The Voice” and the “This Is Us” season premiere aired opposite Game 6 of the World Series in the Eastern and Central time zones, where the bulk of the nation’s population lives.
The concluding game of the World Series, “Thursday Night Football” and the absence of programs starting at 10 p.m. made Fox the most-watched network for the third consecutive week, averaging 7.02 million viewers for its 18 hours, seven minutes of prime-time programming.
Fox was also bolstered by a 58-minute runover of its afternoon NFL coverage into prime time in the Eastern and Central time zones which averaged 23.733 million viewers. The runover is not considered a separate program but is included in the network’s weekly average.
NBC was second, averaging 5.56 million viewers, followed by Fox News Channel (5.032 million), ABC (4.13 million) and CBS (3 million), all for 22 hours of programming.
Fox News Channel was the most-watched cable network for the 40th time in 41 weeks. MSNBC was second, averaging 2.36 million, and ESPN third, averaging 2.151 million.
The most-watched cable program was the Los Angeles Rams’ 24-10 victory over the Chicago Bears on ESPN’s “Monday Night Football” Oct. 26, which averaged 10.912 million viewers, sixth overall.
“Schitt’s Creek” was the most-streamed program on the four services measured by Nielsen, with viewers watching 968 million episodes of the comedy’s 80 episodes between Sept. 28 and Oct. 4.
“The Office” was second, with viewers watching 929 million minutes of the 192 episodes of the 2005-13 NBC comedy.
Each of the top four streamed programs on Amazon Prime, Disney+, Hulu and Netflix were formerly or currently on a broadcast or cable network and six of the Top 10.
The NBC crime thriller “The Blacklist” and the ABC medical drama “Grey’s Anatomy” tied for third, with viewers watching 852 million minutes of each series.
“Ratched” was fifth following back-to-back first-place finishes, with viewers watching 791 million minutes of the Netflix psychological thriller’s eight episodes.
“Criminal Minds” was eighth, with viewers watching 604 million minutes of the 277 episodes of the 2005-20 CBS police procedural. “NCIS” was ninth, with viewers watching 584 million minutes of the action drama that has aired on CBS since 2003.
The most-watched Spanish-language program was the Thursday episode of the Univision telenovela, “Medicos, linea de vida,” which averaged 1.738 million viewers, 63rd among broadcast programs. Its overall rank was not available.
Univision was the most-watched Spanish-language network for the 48th consecutive week and 50th time in 51 weeks, averaging 1.14 million viewers. Telemundo was second, averaging 910,000, followed by UniMas (510,000), Estrella TV (170,000) and Azteca America (60,000).
ABC’s “World News Tonight with David Muir” was the most-watched network nightly newscast for the 48th consecutive week, the 99th time in 100 weeks and the 151st time in 153 weeks, averaging 9.226 million viewers.
The “NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt” was second, averaging 7.744 million viewers followed by the “CBS Evening News with Norah O’Donnell,” which averaged 5.559 million.
The week’s 10 most-watched prime-time programs were NBC’s “Sunday Night Football”; Fox’s seven-minute NFL postgame show; the nine-minute “Sunday Night Football” pre-kickoff show; Fox’s coverage of Game 6 of the World Series and “Thursday Night Football” game between the Atlanta Falcons and Carolina Panthers; ESPN’s “Monday Night Football”; CBS’ “60 Minutes”; the Tuesday and Monday episodes of NBC’s “The Voice”; and the Tuesday edition of Fox News Channel’s “Tucker Carlson Tonight.”
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