Updated World Series TV Ratings 1968-2008

Categories: TV Ratings Reference

Written By

November 10th, 2008

11/10 Update: As we reported earlier, the 2008 World Series, bedeviled by both the weather and unpopular teams, was the lowest rated/least viewed in modern TV history. The chart and table have been updated with the final 2008 numbers.

The Tampa Bay Rays (TV market #13) beat the Boston Red Sox in the ALCS to face the Philadelphia Phillies (TV market #4) in the 2008 World Series and now Fox faces the prospect of record low World Series TV ratings. The Red Sox would easily have kept the ratings out of record (low) territory, but its hard to imagine a worse team for ratings from the AL than the Tampa Bay Rays. A team that barely has a fan base in its own city, and with no national fan base at all. The Phillies have a big local TV market, but that will matter little, they have a relatively small national fan base. As much as the sports world loves to complain about the Yanks and Sox, baseball TV ratings depend on them in the post-season.

In this century, for World Series average viewership to break 20 million, it requires the Yankees or the Red Sox playing. Although in 2000, even the Yankees couldn't pull an all NY matchup above 20 million. This year, I'm confident we'll see the lowest average viewership of any World Series in the last 40 years (as far back as our data goes), lower than 2006 St. Louis Cardinals v. Detriot Tigers matchup which averaged 15.81 million viewers.

Full World Series Ratings Data, 1968-2008:

 

Year Net #Telecasts Rating Share Homes Viewers Teams
2008 FOX 5 8.4 14   13,635,000 Tampa Bay Rays/Philadelphia Phillies
2007 FOX 4 10.6 18 11,994,000 17,123,000 Boston Red Sox / Colorado Rockies
2006 FOX 5 10.1 17 11,282,000 15,812,000 St. Louis Cardinals /Detroit Tigers
2005 FOX 4 11.1 19 12,272,000 17,162,000 Chicago White Sox/Houston Astros
2004 FOX 4 15.8 26 17,270,000 25,390,000 Boston Red Sox/St. Louis Cardinals
2003 FOX 6 12.8 22 13,834,000 20,142,000 Florida Marlins / NY Yankees
2002 FOX 7 11.9 20 12,645,000 19,261,000 Anahiem Angels/San Francisco Giants
2001 FOX 7 15.7 26 16,519,000 24,528,000 Arizona Diamnondbacks / NY Yankees
2000 FOX 5 12.4 21 12,657,000 18,081,000 NY Yankees / NY Mets
1999 NBC 4 16.0 26 16,105,000 23,731,000 NY Yankees / Atlanta Braves
1998 FOX 4 14.1 24 14,050,000 20,340,000 NY Yankees / San Diego Padres
1997 NBC 7 16.7 29 16,410,000 24,790,000 Florida Marlins / Cleveland Indians
1996 FOX 6 17.4 29 16,890,000 25,220,000 NY Yankees / Atlanta Braves
1995 ABC 6 19.5 33 18,710,000 28,970,000 Atlanta Braves / Cleveland Indians
1994 Baseball Strike          
1993 CBS 6 17.3 30 16,330,000 24,700,000 Toronto Blue Jays / Philadelphia Phillies
1992 CBS 6 20.2 34 18,820,000 30,010,000 Toronto Blue Jays / Atlanta Braves
1991 CBS 7 24.0 39 22,060,000 35,680,000 Minnesota Twins / Atlanta Braves
1990 CBS 4 20.8 36 19,320,000 30,240,000 Cincinnati Reds / Oakland Athletics
1989 ABC 4 16.4 29 15,090,000 24,550,000 Oakland Athletics / San Francisco Giants
1988 NBC 5 23.9 39 21,610,000 34,490,000 Los Angeles Dodgers / Oakland Athletics
1987 ABC 7 24.0 41 21,230,000 35,340,000 Minnesota Twins / St. Louis Cardinals
1986 NBC 7 28.6 46 23,640,000 36,370,000 New York Mets / Boston Red Sox
1985 ABC 7 25.3 39 21,740,000 34,510,000 Kansas City Royals / St. Louis Cardinals
1984 NBC 5 22.9 40 19,270,000 28,010,000 Detroit Tigers / San Diego Padres
1983 ABC 5 23.3 41 19,570,000 29,540,000 Baltimore Orioles / Philadelphia Phillies
1982 NBC 7 27.9 49 23,370,000 38,070,000 St. Louis Cardinals / Milwaukee Brewers
1981 ABC 6 30.0 49 24,480,000 41,370,000 Los Angeles Dodgers / NY Yankees
1980 NBC 6 32.8 56 25,380,000 42,300,000 Philadelphia Phillies / Kansas City Royals
1979 ABC 7 28.5 50 21,730,000 37,960,000 Pittsburgh Pirates / Baltimore Orioles
1978 NBC 6 32.8 56 24,450,000 44,278,950 NY Yankees / Los Angeles Dodgers
1977 ABC 6 29.8 53 21,720,000 37,150,000 NY Yankees / Los Angeles Dodgers
1976 NBC 4 27.5 48 19,580,000 34,720,000 Cincinnati Reds / NY Yankees
1975 NBC 7 28.7 52 19,980,000 35,960,000 Cincinnati Reds / Boston Red Sox
1974 NBC 5 25.6 46 17,540,000 29,080,000 Oakland Athletics / Los Angeles Dodgers
1973 NBC 7 30.7 57 20,320,000 34,750,000 Oakland Athletics / NY Mets
1972 NBC 7 27.5 58 NA NA Oakland Athletics / Cincinnati Reds
1971 NBC 7 24.2 59 NA NA Pittsburgh Pirates / Baltimore Orioles
1970 NBC 5 19.4 53 NA NA Baltimore Orioles / Cincinnati Reds
1969 NBC 5 22.4 58 NA NA NY Mets / Baltimore Orioles
1968 NBC 7 22.8 57 NA NA Detroit Tigers / St. Louis Cardinals

*While there were six telecasts for the 2008 series, there were only five games. The sixth telecast was the completion of game five which was suspended due to rain.

Copyright © 2008 The Nielsen Company. All Rights Reserved.

 
  • Tom Kochendorfer

    If they would play the games during the hours that most of the youth of America could watch America’s Favorite Pastime then maybe the ratings would be higher– plus more kids might fall in love with baseball — but having the 7th inning of game #2 start at 11:11 EST is not “in the ball park.”

    tom k

  • Tom Kochendorfer

    If they would play the games during the hours that most of the youth of America could watch America’s Favorite Pastime then maybe the ratings would be higher– plus more kids might fall in love with baseball — but having the 7th inning of game #2 start at 11:11 EST is not “in the ball park.”

    tom k

  • vic kray

    Having The Red Sox look like clowns with ringlets, ugly half facial hair, full beards, necklaces of pearls and faces leering is not what the public wants to see. These guys make millions and Ramirez says “WHO CARES IF WE LOSE”.

    WITH A $20,000,000 PER YEAR GUARANTEED CONTRACT, THE PUBLIC DOES`NT CARE EITHER.

    Its not baseball !

  • vic kray

    Having The Red Sox look like clowns with ringlets, ugly half facial hair, full beards, necklaces of pearls and faces leering is not what the public wants to see. These guys make millions and Ramirez says “WHO CARES IF WE LOSE”.

    WITH A $20,000,000 PER YEAR GUARANTEED CONTRACT, THE PUBLIC DOES`NT CARE EITHER.

    Its not baseball !

  • Dan

    It’s Baseball, not a fashion show…

  • Dan

    It’s Baseball, not a fashion show…

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