World Series Hardly Must-See TV; Nielsen Week In Review
Houston Astros grounds crew members Jake Cooley, left, and Trey Feltch repaint the World Series logo for the baseball World Series at Minute Maid Park, Monday, Oct. 28, 2019. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
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Fans in Washington and Houston may be excited, but the rest of the country is reacting to the World Series with a collective yawn.

Through the first five games, the World Series has been averaging 11.6 million viewers, the Nielsen company said. That puts it on pace to be the least-watched Fall Classic ever, although ratings tend to pick up when a series reaches a sixth or deciding seventh game. Game 6 is Tuesday in Houston.

The previous low point came in 2012, when an average of 12.64 million viewers watched the San Francisco Giants complete a four-game sweep over the Detroit Tigers.

From an audience perspective, the Series was really hurt Sunday night, when 18.3 million people watched an NFL game between Green Bay and Kansas City compared to the 11.4 million who tuned into baseball at the same time. That’s the widest viewership margin an NFL game has ever had over a World Series game at least since Nielsen began keeping more precise records in 1987.

Sports led Fox to an easy victory for the week in primetime, averaging 10.9 million viewers. CBS had 6.54 million viewers, NBC had 6.45 million, ABC had 4.3 million, Telemundo had 1.3 million, ION Television had 1.22 million, Univision had 1.16 million and the CW had 880,000.

Fox News Channel was the week’s most-watched cable network, averaging 2.44 million viewers in primetime. ESPN had 2.38 million viewers, MSNBC had 1.8 million, TLC had 1.21 million and TNT had 1.04 million.

ABC’s “World News Tonight” topped the evening newscasts with an average of 8.2 million viewers. NBC’s “Nightly News” was second with 7.7 million and the “CBS Evening News” had 5.3 million viewers.

Below are primetime viewership numbers compiled by Nielsen for Oct. 21-27. Listings include the week’s ranking and viewership.

1. NFL Football: Green Bay at Kansas City, NBC, 18.32 million.
2. NFL Football: Washington at Minnesota, Fox, 13.77 million.
3. World Series Game 1: Washington at Houston, Fox, 12.28 million.
4. World Series Game 3: Houston at Washington, Fox, 12.22 million.
5. World Series Game 2: Washington at Houston, Fox, 12.01 million.
6. “NFL Pregame Show,” NBC, 11.87 million.
7. World Series Game 5: Houston at Washington, Fox, 11.39 million.
8. “NCIS,” CBS, 11.35 million.
9. NFL Football: New England at N.Y. Jets, ESPN, 11.33 million.
10. “60 Minutes,” CBS, 11.22 million.
11. World Series Game 4: Houston at Washington, Fox, 10.22 million.
12. “Football Night in America,” NBC, 9.52 million.
13. “FBI,” CBS, 8.88 million.
14. “Young Sheldon,” CBS, 8.67 million.
15. “NFL Pregame Show,” Fox, 8.3 million.
16. “The Voice” (Tuesday), NBC, 8.08 million.
17. “The Voice” (Monday) NBC, 8.05 million.
18. “Chicago Fire,” NBC, 7.88 million.
19. “Chicago Med,” NBC, 7.84 million.
20. “This is Us,” NBC, 7.07 million.

ABC and ESPN are owned by The Walt Disney Co.; CBS is a division of CBS Corp.; Fox is owned by Fox Corp.; NBC is owned by NBC Universal.


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