UPDATE 1:53 PM: Turns out America really likes it when the national pastime goes longer than ever. The final numbers are in and the Kansas City Royals’ 5-4 win over the New York Mets last night in the longest World Series Game 1 ever hit a 4.6/16 rating among adults 18-49 with 14.9 million total viewers for Fox. That’s a 35% rise in the demo over last year’s all-time Game 1 low and a 22% jump in viewership.
Interrupted by “technical difficulties,” the game that wrapped up in the 14th inning around 1 AM ET was the most watched World Series opener since 15 million viewers saw the 2010 matchup between the San Francisco Giants and Texas Rangers. And, after last night’s drama, you can bet a lot of people are going to watch Game 2 tonight.
The other big sports offering Tuesday night also saw strong leaps, with the doubleheader opening of the NBA season up 28% in total viewers on TNT to 6 million. Among the key demo, Chicago’s win over Lebron James and Cleveland and reigning champ Golden State’s victory over New Orleans was up 18% over last year’s two-game season opener, helping TNT take the night in cable.
PREVIOUS, 6:52 AM: It was both the best of times and briefly the worst of times for the World Series on Fox as Game 1 faced the doubleheader start of the NBA season on TNT. The best of times was certainly in the ratings for the Kansas City Royals’ dramatic 14-inning 5-4 win over the New York Mets in the longest Game 1 of any World Series ever, while Fox overcame a power outage that stopped the game briefly during the fourth inning.
Going into early this morning, Game 1 drew a 10.5/18 in metered market results from 8 PM-1 AM. That’s a 31% surge from the Game 1 low of last year’s 8.0/13 MM rating on October 21, 2014, when the Royals lost 7-1 to the eventual champion San Francisco Giants. Last night’s MM result was the best a World Series Game 1 has done since the 13.8/22 of 2009’s Phillies-Yankees matchup.
Also, with a 10.4/17 average between 8-11 PM last night, Game 1 delivered Fox its best Tuesday primetime result since February 2012. In Kansas City, the MM result was a massive 57.3/78, while in New York City it was a pretty big 26.2/43.
Clocking in at 5 hours and 9 minutes, last night’s game clocked the longest World Series opener ever and it also featured the Series’ first inside-the-park home run since 1929. It also marked the first time the Royals have won Game 1 of the World Series after going down in their previous three times at bat, so to speak.
Unlike this year, the start of the 2014 World Series did not have to face the opening night of the NBA season. Even with these early numbers, or rather because of them, it is pretty clear that Fox hit a winning home run Tuesday night among the Big 4 and the CW.
Over on TNT, it was back-to-back NBA games featuring the Chicago Bulls’ 97-95 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers and the defending champ Golden State Warriors’ 111-97 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans. In metered market results, the doubleheader averaged a 2.3 metered market rating, up 15% over last year’s two-game opener on October 28 and easily topping Tuesday’s cable rankings.
Not that the NBA’s 2015-2016 opening night didn’t attract some very important fans courtside as well as watching on TV. Among those at the United Center last night watching the Bulls-Cavs was the President of the United States. In his adopted hometown for speeches and fundraisers, Barack Obama was courtside for much of the game — a good omen as the first game got a 2.7 MM rating to rise 42% over last year’s opening-night Game 1.