The 107th Fall Classic got underway in fine fashion last night with a taught contest between the Texas Rangers and St. Louis Cardinals broadcast on FOX. The Cardinals’ 3-2 win ranked as the highest-rated and most-watched telecast in primetime and delivered the network a prime time win in both households and the key adult 18-49 demographic, according to fast national ratings released by Nielsen Media Research.
FOX posted an 8.7/14 household rating/share with 14.2 million viewers for World Series, -2% from Game 1 a year ago (8.9/15, 15.0 million) primarily due to home market delivery. While Dallas is represented for a second consecutive year, San Francisco (2.523 million homes), last year’s other home market, is more than twice as large as St. Louis (1.258 million).
However, what FOX lost in home market strength as 6th ranked San Francisco was exchanged with 21st ranked St. Louis was somewhat made up for by the Cardinals’ regional strength. Several nearby markets posted above average numbers including Kansas City (13.6/21), Nashville (10.2/15) and Memphis (13.5/20). Strong regional interest in the Rangers drove ratings in Austin (16.7/28), San Antonio (13.5/19) and Oklahoma City (11.1/17).
Game 1 of the World Series on FOX powered the network to a first place finish, averaging an 8.6 household rating and 14.0 million viewers from 8:00-11:00 PM ET, beating CBS (7.2, 11.6 million), ABC (5.6, 8.9 million) and NBC (4.5, 6.9 million). Since 1996, FOX has televised 69 World Series games and won the night in households 59 times (86%). FOX also easily won the night in the key prime time Adult 18-49 demographic (4.2) and Adults 18-34 (3.6) beating all other networks by wide margins.
Last night’s broadcast opened with a 7.0/12 (11.3 million) from 8:00-8:30 PM ET, and grew steadily throughout the night: 8.8/14, 14.4 million from 9:00-9:30 PM ET; 9.6/15, 15.5 million from 10:00-10:30 PM; and peaked at 9.9/17 with 16.0 million viewers from 11:00-11:30 PM ET.
St. Louis led all markets with a sensational 47.3/66 to rank as the best home market rating for a World Series Game 1 since 2007 (Boston – 50.4/70). Dallas placed second among the local markets averaging a strong 34.2/51, +1% from Game 1 a year ago (33.9/51) when the Rangers faced the Giants.