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News / Sports / National Sports

Games 2 and 3 of World Series were least-viewed in recorded Fall Classic history

By JOE REEDY, AP Sports Writer
Published: October 31, 2023, 6:16pm

The fears of this year’s World Series between the Texas Rangers and Arizona Diamondbacks becoming the least-viewed Fall Classic in TV history are becoming a reality.

Games 2 and 3 are the least-watched on record according to Nielsen. Monday’s 3-1 victory by the Rangers averaged 8.13 million on Fox, according to fast national figures. Saturday’s 9-1 Diamondbacks’ win averaged 8.15 million.

Before this year, the least-watched World Series game was Game 3 in 2020 between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Tampa Bay Rays, which averaged 8.34 million.

Game 1 was also the least-watched World Series opener recorded. The three-game average of 8.48 million is on pace to become the least-viewed Series ever, fewer than the 9.79 million in 2020 that watched the Dodgers beat the Rays in six games.

Last year’s series — when the Houston Astros beat the Philadelphia Phillies in six games — had an 11.76 million average.

Game 3 went up against “Monday Night Football” for the first time since 2013. However, it was the first time since 1996 that the World Series and NFL were both on network TV on a Monday night.

The Detroit Lions 26-14 win over the Las Vegas Raiders averaged 15.2 million on ESPN, ABC, ESPN Deportes and NFL+. ABC’s average was 8.36 million, making it the most-watched program on network TV.

On Oct. 21, 1996, the Atlanta Braves 4-0 victory over the New York Yankees in Game 2 on Fox averaged 19.4 million and outdrew the Oakland Raiders-San Diego Chargers game on ABC, which pulled a 17.5 million number.

On that Monday night, all but one of the 11 shows on network television averaged at least 10.4 million.

Saturday’s game had a total average audience of 8.38 million on Fox, Fox Deportes and Fox Sports streaming platforms. It was the most-viewed program for the night, beating the Colorado-UCLA and Ohio State-Wisconsin college football games on ABC and NBC.

Average viewer ratings have been calculated since at least 1969.

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