World Series Game 1 Viewership Lowest Since 2014 – Update

World Series Red Sox
David J. Phillip/Associated Press

UPDATE, 3:55 PM: Game 2 of the 2018 World Series is about to start very soon but the final numbers of last night’s Boston Red Sox’s winning Game 1 certainly show some room for improvement, at least over the past few years.

Scoring a 3.7/17 rating among adults 18-49 and 13.8 million viewers, the almost four hour game on Fox is down 5% in the demo and 8% in total audience from last year’s opener.

However, while that may seem like a mere dip from 2017, it is actual the lowest World Series Game 1 viewership since 2014. That’s when 12.2 million tuned in for the San Francisco Giants 4-3 win over the Kansas City Royals on October 21 of that year.

As expected and as is often the case with live sports, this year’s Game 1 adjusted up almost 9% from the initial fast affiliate 18-49 ratings of earlier today. Fox easily won the night with NBC in second place in the demo with a 1.7/7 and CBS number #2 in viewers with 9.07 million sets of eyeballs.

PREVIOUSLY, 7:29 AM: The opening game of the 2018 World Series went nearly four hours last night in chilly Boston, but really it was over in the bottom of the seventh inning when Eduardo Nunez hit that three-run homer for the Red Sox.

As you can see, if you didn’t already last night:

In the end, it was the eight-time World Series champion Red Sox taking the lead with an 8-4 Game 1 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers. To add to Boston’s initial glory in front of 38,454 fans at Fenway Park last night and those watching at home, left fielder Andrew Benintendi became the first player in team history to score four hits in a World Series game.

All of which added up to some steady-ish ratings for MLB and Fox.

Facing a near full Big 4 bench, including This Is Us, NCIS and Week 2 of ABC’s Roseanne spinoff The Conners, Game 1 of the World Series on the Rupert Murdoch-owned network hit a 10.0/18 in metered market results. That’s a dip of 2% in the early metrics from when the Dodgers beat the Houston Astros in steamy Los Angeles on October 24, 2017 in the opener of the 2017 World Series.

Tuesday’s game was down 21% in the metered markets from Game 1 of the historic 2016 World Series featuring the Chicago Cubs. Which meant that last night’s Game 1 was the lowest metered market rating for a World Series opener since the October 21, 2014 matchup between San Francisco and Kansas City.

Falling double digits itself from the Cubs winning year before, the two and a half hour long start of the 2017 World Series went on to snare 14.96 million viewers and a 3.9/15 rating among adults 18-49. Even though the Cubs lost that 2016 opener against the Cleveland Indians, the team’s 108-year World Series drought provided a once-in-several-generation baseball and a TV experience that captured the national interest for the already well followed Cubs

We’ll update with more 2018 World Series Game 1 ratings, as well as everything else on the Big 4, as they come around the bases later today.

Game 2 tonight sees the Red Sox with the hometown advantage again, with the sure to be resetting Dodgers taking the series home Friday to a distinctly warmer climate, in hopefully more ways than one.

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