UPDATED with final World Series ratings, other broadcast shows: The second to last episode of The Walking Dead with Andrew Lincoln was on, but America went out to the ball game last night as the Boston Red Sox won the World Series and the New Orleans Saints pummeled the Minnesota Vikings on the NFL and NBC’s Sunday Night Football.
The Red Sox’s 5-1 victory in the City of Angels in Game 5 on Sunday snared their ninth World Series championship, and drew 17.6 million total viewers to the Fox telecast. Flexing serious franchise muscle and the skills of MVP Steve Pearce, the win marked Boston’s fourth in the last 15 seasons, and gave Fox its sixth consecutive night finishing No. 1 in the primetime broadcast rankings.
Miiiiight be time to get those M-V-P chants going.
Steve Pearce goes yard AGAIN! pic.twitter.com/g4p96eK2ED
Overall, Game 5 drew 18.5 million viewers when Fox Deportes and Fox Sports’ streaming platforms were taken into account, according to Fox. The game on the broadcast network peaked at 21.8 million.
In the final numbers, the defining Game 7 of the 2017 World Series between the Houston Astros and the Dodgers was seen by 28.22 million viewers, the second most watched MLB game of the past 14 years. Game 5 of last year had 19 million tuning in, and Game 4 this year Saturday night had an audience of 13.6 million.
Sunday’s game edged in total viewers Game 5 of the 2015 World Series between the Kansas City Royals and New York Mets (17.2M), the last time a World Series went five games.
Meanwhile, on another field in Minneapolis, a rematch between the Vikings and the Saints saw New Orleans snap a two-game losing streak against Minnesota. Even with a season-low passing day by Saints QB Drew Brees, the Saints relied on their defense to secure a 30-20 victory on SNF.
Coming off an afternoon that saw games all over the small screen and CBS’ singleheader coverage rise 13% to a 10.3/22 in metered markets, Sunday proved that America has a huge appetite for sports.
The 8:30-11 PM ET Game 5 of the 2018 World Series hit a night-winning 12.3/24 in the early metrics for Fox. Over on the soon to be former home of Megyn Kelly, SNF snagged a 9.7/16 in metered market results.
For the MLB and the Rupert Murdoch-owned network, the winning Game 5 is almost exactly on par with last year (down just under 4%) from last year’s SNF-facing Game 5 of October 29, when the Houston Astros beat the Dodgers. Compared to the tense and series-determining November 1, 2017 Game 7 of last year’s World Series, last night’s Game 5 was down 31% in the metered markets but up 25% over this season’s Game 4.
For the NFL over on NBC, the Saints victory was actually a loss of 12% in the metered markets from last week’s non-World Series competing game pitting the Kansas City Chiefs and Cincinnati Bengals. With clearly exceptional circumstances, that’s a season low for SNF.
Year-to-year, last night’s Saints-Vikings game bopped up 3% in the early returns against the Week 8 Pittsburgh Steelers-Detroit Lions game of October 29, 2017 – itself up against Game 5 of the World Series of that year.
Last week’s Chiefs win over the Bengals brought in a 5.1/21 rating among adults 18-49 and 16.02 million viewers. Last year’s Week 8 Steelers-Lions game got a 4.8/15 among the key demo and 13.9 million sets of eyeballs.
We’ll update with more MLB and NFL numbers and everything else that was on the Big 4 and the CW last night, but in the meantime, here are Top 10 local markets for last night’s SNF:
1. New Orleans 50.0/66
2. Minneapolis 41.3/61
3. Kansas City 13.0/19
4. Austin 12.4/21
5. Norfolk 12.4/19
6. Houston 11.7/19
7. Denver 11.7/20
8. Washington D.C. 11.4/20
9. Albuquerque 11.2/17
Meanwhile, other broadcast networks took hits from Sunday’s heavy sports lineup.
CBS, which last week enjoyed a hefty NFL overrun lead-in and no World Series competition, got buffeted, when 60 Minutes (0.8, 7.82M) plunged 65% in the demo week to week. That resulted in the lowest-yet lead-in for God Friended Me (0.7, 6.98M), which tumbled 42% to a series low.
CBS’ NCIS: Los Angeles (0.8, 7.05M) was off by 27%, after which Madam Secretary (0.6, 5.56M) broke even.
ABC stood up better against the clinching fifth game of the World Series. America’s Funniest Home Videos (0.8, 4.91M) held steady; Dancing With the Stars: Juniors (0.7, 3.96M) fell 14%. Shark Tank (0.6, 3.24M) skidded 25% to tie a series low, and The Alec Baldwin Show finished flat (0.3, 1.65M) week to week.
The CW’s Supergirl (0.4, 1.26M) maintained its demo rating of last week, but Charmed (0.3, 1.11M) fell a tenth the demo for a second consecutive week.
Fox (4.5, 17.92M) dominated primetime, followed by NBC (3.2, 10.62M). CBS (0.7, 6.85M) edged out ABC (0.6, 3.44M). CW (0.4, 1.19M) followed.