World Series is off to strong start for Fox but NFL still scores ratings touchdown

Philadelphia Phillies' J.T. Realmuto swings the bat during the World Series.
Philadelphia Phillies’ J.T. Realmuto hits a home run during the 10th inning to win Game 1 of the World Series between the Houston Astros and the Philadelphia Phillies.
(Sue Ogrocki / AP)

Viewership for Fox’s coverage of the first two games of baseball’s World Series was the highest it has been since 2019, helping the network to a rare first-place finish in the weekly ratings.

The Philadelphia Phillies’ 6-5, 10-inning victory over the Houston Astros on Friday averaged 11.475 million viewers for the 4-hour, 40-minute telecast, according to live-plus-same-day figures released by Nielsen Tuesday

The audience that witnessed Philadelphia overcoming a 5-0 second-inning deficit was the largest for a Game 1 of a World Series since 2019, when the Washington Nationals’ 5-4 victory over the Astros averaged 12.283 million viewers.


Houston’s 5-2 victory in Game 2 on Saturday averaged 10.789 million viewers, the most for a Game 2 of the World Series since 2019, when Washington’s 12-3 victory averaged 12.014 million viewers. It was also the most for a Saturday World Series game since 2018, when the Boston Red Sox’s 9-6 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers averaged 13.615 million viewers. The World Series has aired on Fox each year since 2000.

The games were third and fourth among prime-time programs between Oct. 24 and Sunday, trailing only NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” and its pre-kickoff show. “Sunday Night Football” was the top-ranked prime-time program for the eighth time in the eight weeks of the 2022 NFL season. The Buffalo Bills’ 27-17 victory over the Green Bay Packers averaged 19.618 million viewers, fourth among the season’s “Sunday Night Football” telecasts. The 10-minute pre-kickoff show was second for the week, averaging 15.314 million viewers.

CBS’ “60 Minutes” led all non-sports programs for the sixth time in the 6-week-old 2022-23 prime-time television season, averaging 8.041 million viewers, eighth for the week. The CBS comedy “Young Sheldon” was the top-rated entertainment program and the only one to top 7 million viewers, averaging 7.065 million viewers, ninth for the week.

The procedural drama “9-1-1” was Fox’s most popular non-sports program for the sixth time in its six episodes of the season, averaging 5.147 million viewers, 24th for the week and 14th among non-sports programs.

NBC was second after seven consecutive first-place finishes, averaging 5.47 million viewers. CBS was third, averaging 4.3 million, and ABC fourth, averaging 3.33 million.

The Tuesday edition of singing competition “The Voice” was NBC’s ratings leader for non-sports programs, 15th for the week, averaging 5.951 million viewers.


ABC’s biggest audience was for “Saturday Night Football,” with Michigan’s 29-7 victory over Michigan State averaging 5.583 million viewers, 18th for the week. Diane Sawyer’s interview of actor Matthew Perry topped ABC’s non-sports programs, averaging 4.390 million viewers, 30th for the week and 20th among non-sports programs.

The CBS police procedural “East New York” was the top-rated new series for the third time in the five weeks it has aired, averaging 5.838 million viewers, 13th for the week and sixth among non-sports programs.

The CW averaged 440,000 viewers. The crime drama “Walker” was its biggest draw for the second time in four weeks, averaging 801,000 viewers, 136th among broadcast programs. Its overall ranking was not available.

The top 20 prime-time programs consisted of two NFL games; three NFL pregame shows; Fox’s 29-minute NFL postgame show, “The OT”; two World Series games; “60 Minutes”; eight CBS scripted programs; the two episodes of NBC’s singing competition “The Voice”; and ABC’s coverage of the Michigan-Michigan State college football game.

ESPN’s “Monday Night Football” led all cable programs, with the Chicago Bears’ 33-14 victory over the New England Patriots Oct. 24 averaging 10.345 million viewers, fifth overall.

ESPN returned to the top of the cable network ratings after a one-week absence, averaging 2.53 million viewers for its fourth first-place finish in five weeks and seventh in nine weeks. Fox News Channel was second, averaging 2.513 million viewers, and Hallmark Channel third, averaging 1.219 million.

MSNBC was the only other cable network to average more than 1 million viewers for its prime-time programming, averaging 1.025 million.

The cable top 20 consisted of ESPN’s “Monday Night Football” and its 13-minute kickoff show; 14 Fox News Channel weeknight political talk shows (five broadcasts of both “Tucker Carlson Tonight” and “Hannity” and four of “The Ingraham Angle”); ESPN’s coverage of Saturday’s Kentucky-Tennessee college football game; a Golden State Warriors-Phoenix Suns game on TNT last Tuesday; the Oct. 24 edition of MSNBC news and opinion program “The Rachel Maddow Show”; and the Hallmark Channel movie “Jolly Good Christmas.”

“From Scratch” was Netflix’s most-streamed program, with viewers spending 72.02 million hours watching the eight-episode romantic drama in its first full week of release, according to figures released by the streaming service. Viewership was up 123% from the 32.23 million hours watched the previous week when the limited series was available for three days.

“The Good Nurse” had Netflix’s biggest audience for a movie, with viewers watching the thriller for 68.31 million hours in its first five days of release.