The third least-watched World Series on record concluded with record-low viewership for Game 7, which was still the most-watched prime-time program since the Oscars, according to live-plus-same-day figures released Tuesday by Nielsen.
Fox’s coverage of the Washington Nationals seven-game upset victory of the Houston Astros averaged 13.985 million viewers.
The only World Series to average fewer viewers were the San Francisco Giants’ four-game sweep of the Detroit Tigers in 2012, which averaged 12.64 million viewers, and the rain-plagued five-game 2008 series between the Philadelphia Phillies and Tampa Bay Rays, which averaged 13.64 million.
Washington’s 6-2 Game 7 victory last Wednesday, where it scored all its runs in the final three innings to overcome a 2-0 deficit, averaged 23.217 million viewers, the least among the figures for the 17 Game 7s available.
The previous Game 7 low was 23.52 million viewers for the San Francisco Giants 3-2 victory over the Kansas City Royals in 2014.
The Series also included record-lows for Games 2, 4 and 5.
Game 7 was the most-watched prime-time program since Feb. 24 when ABC’s Oscar telecast averaged 29.558 million viewers. Game 7 became the first non-NFL game to be the week’s most-watched prime-time program over the first nine weeks of the NFL season.
(Records for World Series viewership date back to 1969. Viewership figures are not available for Game 2 of the 1976 Series and Game 7 of the 1986 Series.)
Viewership for most forms of programming is down compared to the past because of increased options for viewers, including from cable television and in recent years, higher viewership of streaming programming, including the same programs shown on traditional television.
The World Series has aired on Fox each year since 2000.
The Baltimore Ravens 37-20 victory over the previously undefeated New England Patriots on NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” was second for the week, averaging 22.032 million.
With CBS opting to air a rerun of the season’s most-watched non-sports series, “NCIS,” its news magazine “60 Minutes” was the most-watched non-sports program between Oct. 28 and Sunday, averaging 11.035 million viewers, seventh overall behind two World Series games, two NFL games and two NFL pregame shows.
“60 Minutes” followed a 38-minute runover of CBS’ afternoon NFL coverage in the Eastern and Central time zones which averaged 27.24 million viewers. The runover is not considered a separate program, but is included in the network’s weekly average.
The two-hour Monday telecast of the NBC singing competition “The Voice” was the week’s most-watched entertainment program, averaging 8.19 million viewers, 10th overall.
An “NCIS” rerun was the week’s most-watched scripted program, averaging 8.186 million viewers, 11th overall.
With CBS airing a rerun of “Young Sheldon,” the season’s most-watched comedy, ABC’s “The Conners” was the week’s most-watched comedy, averaging 6.029 million viewers, 27th overall.
“Bob Hearts Abishola” was the most-watched new series, averaging 5.714 million viewers, 30th overall. CBS has had the most-watched new series each week of the six-week-old 2019-20 prime-time television season.
The combination of two World Series games and “Thursday Night Football,” the week’s sixth-most watched program, made Fox the most-watched network for the second consecutive week and third time in the season, averaging 9.77 million viewers for its 19 hours of prime-time programming.
NBC was second, averaging 7.14 million viewers. CBS was third, averaging 6.11 million, followed by ABC, which averaged 3.76 million. ABC was the only major broadcast network without prime-time NFL programming.
NBC, CBS and ABC each aired 22 hours of prime-time programming.
The most-watched cable program was the Pittsburgh Steelers 27-14 victory over the then-winless Miami Dolphins on ESPN’s “Monday Night Football” Oct. 28 which averaged 10.417 million viewers, eighth overall.
“Monday Night Football” has been the most-watched cable program for each of its first eight weeks of the 2019 season.
Fox News Channel was the most-watched cable network in prime time for the second consecutive week, averaging 2.598 million viewers. ESPN was second, averaging 2.3 million. MSNBC was third, averaging 1.765 million.
The most-watched Spanish-language program was the Thursday episode of the Univision telenovela “Amor Eterno,” which averaged 1.624 million viewers, 84th among broadcast programming. Its overall position was not available.
Telemundo was the most-watched Spanish-language network for the third consecutive week after finishing second behind Univision for eight of the previous nine weeks, averaging 1.21 million viewers. Univision was second, averaging 1.17 million viewers, followed by UniMas, which averaged 460,000, Estrella TV, which averaged 230,000 viewers, and Azteca America, which averaged 70,000.
ABC’s “World News Tonight with David Muir” was the most-watched network nightly newscast for the 49th consecutive week and 100th time in the past 101 weeks, averaging 8.658 million viewers.
The “NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt” was second, averaging 7.876 million viewers. The “CBS Evening News” averaged 5.584 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 Game 7 of the World Series; NBC’s “Sunday Night Football”; Fox’s coverage of Game 6 of the World Series; the nine-minute “Sunday Night Football” kickoff show; Fox’s “Thursday Night Football”; the 22-minute third segment of NBC’s “Football Night in America”; CBS’ “60 Minutes”; ESPN’s “Monday Night Football”; Fox’s 15-minute “Thursday Night Football” kickoff show; and the Monday edition of NBC’s “The Voice.”
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