It was a roller coaster of a battle, and then the rain came to hit the pause button for a while, but in the end last night, the Chicago Cubs won Game 7 of the 2016 World Series over the Cleveland Indians 8-7 in 10 innings to take home their first baseball championship since 1908.
The thrilling end of the Cubs’ long 108-year drought makes for some impressive numbers in a more that four-hour game that saw 17 minutes of rain delay. For Fox, this year’s World Series has seen a slew of strong ratings, and none more so than Wednesday’s down-to-the-wire Game 7.
In metered market results, last night’s deciding game at Progressive Field in Cleveland hit a massive 25.2/40 rating. While not reaching the 49.0/73 result of this year’s Super Bowl, that’s the best any World Series Game 7 and in fact any MLB game has done in overnight ratings since the mega-market New York Yankees lost 3-2 to the Arizona Diamondbacks on November 4, 2001. That game got a 27.0/38 metered market rating. Last night’s Game 7 did beat the June 19 Game 7 of the NBA Finals, where the Cleveland Cavaliers defeated reigning champs the Golden State Warriors, by 33% in MM results.
It is also, for you stat heads, 66% better in MM results than the last World Series Game 7 back in 2014 when the San Francisco Giants beat the Kansas City Royals 3-2 on October 29 that year. Compared to Tuesday’s Cubs-winning Game 6, last night’s game was up 70% in the early ratings. That November 1 game was watched by 23.4 million viewers, the best any Game 6 has done since 1997. In Chicago, last night’s winning Game 7 snared a 51.5 MM rating — the best any baseball game has ever done in the two-team town ever.
Up to and including the Tuesday’s Game 6 face-off, the 2016 World Series has been averaging about 20 million viewers. That’s the most any MLB championship has achieved since 2004, when the Boston Red Sox swept the series in four games against the St. Louis Cardinals. That series snagged an average of 25.4 million viewers. Compared to the tepidly rated 2014 World Series, the last one to go more than five games, this year is up 63% in overall viewership.
Fox, currently the No. 2 network this season, is well placed to easily win Wednesday primetime with its best result for the night since January 2007. It certainly can’t hurt that the viewership for last night’s game is estimated to be north of 35 million.
NBC was all encores last night and CBS had a Criminal Minds repeat, but we’ll update with more World Series numbers plus the CMA Awards results and more of what was on TV last night later.
And congratulations, Cubs – it’s been a long time coming.