LOS ANGELES — Texas’ extra-inning comeback victory over Arizona on Friday night was the least-watched Game 1 recorded in World Series TV history.
The Rangers’ 6-5 win over the Diamondbacks in 11 innings averaged 9.35 million viewers on Fox, Fox Deportes and Fox’s streaming service. The previous low was 9.48 for the opening game in 2020 between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Tampa Bay Rays. That was played during the pandemic, coincidentally in Arlington, Texas.
According to Nielsen, Fox averaged 9.17 million for the game telecast. It is only the sixth World Series game that didn’t attract at least 10 million viewers. The others were the first four games in 2020 and Game 3 in 2008 between Tampa Bay and the Philadelphia Phillies.
Average viewer ratings have been calculated since at least 1969.
Friday’s game was also a 20% decline compared to the 11.48 million who watched last year’s first game between the Phillies and Houston Astros.
The news has to be a bit of a disappointment for baseball after it had its most-watched League Championship Series round since 2018. Buoyed by a pair of Game 7s for the first time in a full season since 2004, overall postseason ratings were up 7% compared to last year.
The World Series was the most-watched event on television Friday night by a significant margin. An episode of “The Price is Right” averaged 3.01 million.
The least-watched World Series game remains Game 3 in 2020, which averaged 8.34 million.