Viewership for final World Series games drops sharply from 2016

Kenley Jansen. Photo: Los Angeles Dodgers/Twitter

Viewership for the final two games of the World Series was down 20 percent from one year ago, but was still enough to give Fox a second consecutive weekly prime-time victory, according to live-plus-same-day figures released Tuesday by Nielsen.

The Houston Astros 5-1 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 7 Wednesday was the most-watched prime-time program between Oct. 30 and Sunday, averaging 28.287 million viewers.

However, viewership was 29.4 percent less than the 40.047-million average for the Chicago Cubs 8-7 10-inning victory over the Cleveland Indians in Game 7 of the 2016 Series that gave them their first World Series championship since 1908.

The Dodgers 3-1 victory in Game 6 last Tuesday that tied the series at three games a piece was second for the week, averaging 22.329 million viewers, 4.6 percent less than the 23.398 million average for Game 6 of the 2016 Series.

The seven-game series averaged 18.73 million viewers, 18 percent less than the 22.847 million average for the 2016 Series, the most-watched Series since 2004 when the Boston Red Sox four-game sweep of the St. Louis Cardinals for their first World Series championship since 1918 averaged 25.4 million viewers.

The 2017 Series was the second most-watched since 2010, averaging 18.73 million viewers.

Fox averaged 9.66 million viewers for its 18 hours, 30 minutes of prime- time programming for the week. Its most-watched program outside its World Series coverage was the space adventure “The Orville,” which was 54th among the week’s broadcast and cable programs, averaging 3.825 million viewers.

CBS was second for the second consecutive week after winning each of the first four weeks of the 2017-18 season, averaging 8.19 million viewers. NBC was third, averaging 6.28 million, followed by ABC, which averaged 4.53 million.

CBS and ABC each aired 22 hours of prime-time programming for ratings purposes and NBC 21 1/2.

CBS had the most-watched non-sports program, “60 Minutes,” third for the week averaging 15.093 million viewers; the most-watched entertainment program, “The Big Bang Theory,” fifth for the week averaging 14.157 million; the most-watched new series, “Young Sheldon,” sixth for the week averaging 12.827 million viewers; and the most-watched drama, “NCIS,” seventh for the week averaging 12.11 million.

The premiere of the CBS police drama “S.W.A.T.” won its Thursday 10-11 p.m. time slot, averaging 6.815 million viewers, finishing 26th for the week. Viewership for “S.W.A.T.” exceeded the 6.668 million-average for the comedy “Life In Pieces,” which preceded it.

CBS was also bolstered by the 22.82-million average viewership for the 30-minute runover of its coverage of the Dallas Cowboys-Kansas City Chiefs game into prime time. The runover is not considered a separate program, but is included in the weekly average.

The week’s most-watched cable program was ESPN’s “Monday Night Football” game between the Denver Broncos and Kansas City which averaged 10.487 million viewers, 10th overall.

Fox News Channel was the most-watched cable network for the second consecutive week, averaging 2.726 million, with ESPN second for the second consecutive week, averaging 2.237 million. MSNBC was third averaging 1.87 million.

The most-watched Spanish-language prime-time program was the Thursday episode of the Telemundo telenovela “El Senor de los Cielos,” which averaged 2.544 million viewers to finish 104th overall.

Telemundo was the most-watched Spanish-language network for the fourth consecutive week, averaging 1.52 million viewers. Univision was second, averaging 1.43 million, followed by UniMas, which averaged 730,000 viewers, Estrella TV, which averaged 240,000 and Azteca America, which averaged 80,000.

ABC’s “World News Tonight with David Muir” was the most-watched nightly network newscast for the ninth consecutive week and 21st time in the past 22 weeks, averaging 8.561 million viewers.

The “NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt” was second, averaging 8.081 million viewers.

The “CBS Evening News” was third, averaging 6.421 million viewers. It has finished third each week since the week of Sept. 25-29, 2006.

The week’s 10 most-watched prime-time programs were Fox’s coverage of Games 7 and 6 of the World Series; CBS’ “60 Minutes”; NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” game between the Miami Dolphins and Oakland Raiders; CBS’ “The Big Bang Theory,” “Young Sheldon” and “NCIS”; NBC’s nine-minute “Sunday Night Football” pregame show; ABC’s “The Good Doctor” and ESPN’s “Monday Night Football.”

—City News Service