The early numbers are in and they are huge. Approximately 40 million people watched the Chicago Cubs beat the Cleveland Indians on television in Game 7 of the World Series.
That number is based on the overnight rating of 25.2. We will have to wait until the final number is released to get a better estimate of the number of viewers, but we already know it was a number not seen in MLB in years.
To put that rating into perspective, Game 6, the night before, drew a 14.8 overnight rating and the final number of television viewers was estimated at 23.4 million, according to Sports Media Watch. Game 7 of the NBA Finals in June, a matchup that included the two best players on the planet with LeBron James and Stephen Curry, did a 15.8 final rating and 31.0 million viewers.
Game 7 of this year’s World Series is also the highest-rated MLB game since 2001, when Game 7 between the New York Yankees and Arizona Diamondbacks had a 27.0 rating. According to Sports Media Watch, there are no NBA, college football, or college basketball games on record that have drawn a larger rating than Game 7 did on Wednesday (ratings records go back to the late 1990s).
The last two World Series to go seven games happened in 2011 and 2014. Those Game 7s pulled in 25.4 million and 23.5 million TV viewers, respectively, well below the approximately 39.8 million that watched on Wednesday night.
If the final rating does reach 40 million viewers, it will push this year’s World Series to a seven-game average of 22.8 million. That would be the most-watched World Series since the 2004 Fall Classic that saw the Boston Red Sox end their own championship drought. The six World Series prior to this year averaged 14.5 million viewers.
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