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. Fox’s coverage of the Washington Nationals’ seven-game upset victory over the Houston Astros averaged 13.99 million viewers, according to live-plus-same-day figures released Tuesday by Nielsen.
The only World Series to average fewer viewers is 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 the Nationals scored all their runs in the final three innings to overcome a 2-0 deficit, averaged 23.22 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 29.56 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. 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 million.
CBS’ news magazine “60 Minutes” was the most-watched nonsports program the week of Oct. 28 through Sunday, averaging 11.04 million viewers, seventh overall behind two World Series games, two NFL games and two NFL pregame shows.
The two-hour Monday telecast of the singing competition “The Voice” was NBC’s most-watched nonsports program, averaging 8.19 million viewers, 10th overall.
With CBS airing a rerun of “Young Sheldon,” the season’s top-rated comedy, ABC’s “The Conners” was the week’s most-watched comedy averaging 6.03 million viewers, 27th overall.
The CBS comedy “Bob Hearts Abishola” was the most-watched new series, averaging 5.71 million viewers, 30th overall. CBS has had the most-watched new series each week of the 6-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 highest ranked network for the second consecutive week and the 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.
The most-watched cable program was the Pittsburgh Steelers’ 27-14 victory over the then-winless Miami Dolphins on ESPN’s “Monday Night Football.” The Oct. 21 game averaged 10.42 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 2.6 million viewers. ESPN was second, averaging 2.3 million. MSNBC was third, averaging 1.77 million.