Guess The World Series TV Viewership (Poll) + Historical World Series Ratings

Categories: 1-Featured,TV Ratings Reference,TV Sports Ratings & News

Written By

October 23rd, 2012

The 2012 World Series matchup is set between the San Francisco Giants (Go Giants!) and the Detroit Tigers.

2010's San Francisco v. Texas World Series went five games and tied for the lowest household ratings ever for the Fall Classic. It just missed being the lowest average viewership ever, but ended up ahead of the rain plagued 2008 series.

2011's St. Louis v. Texas World Series saw a big jump, not because of the teams involved, but because it went seven games. Every potential clinching game drives up the numbers.

Here's your chance to guess the average viewership** for the 2012 World Series.

Since the longer the Series goes, the higher the viewership and ratings rise, to keep the guessing comparable, make your average viewership guess assuming a 5 game Series (the average World Series length in the last 10 years was 5.3 games).

That being the case, I like a 5 game series to average 15 million viewers, slightly more than the 2010 series.

What's your guess?

World Series Ratings Data, 1968-2011:

Year Net #Telecasts Rating Share Homes Viewers Teams
2011 FOX 7 10.0 16 16,600,000 Texas Rangers/ St. Louis Cardinals
2010 FOX 5 8.4 14 14,300,000 Texas Rangers/San Francisco Giants
2009 FOX 6 11.7 19 19,400,000 New York Yankees / Philadelphia Phillies
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.

**Of course average viewership means nothing to advertising revenue, but like most historical ratings data, we lack historical demo group ratings for comparison.

Copyright © 2012 The Nielsen Company. All Rights Reserved.

 
  • joanna

    GO GIANTS!!!!!!

  • Jon92929

    I am not American. I notice in that table that there has been a big decline in the World Series ratings over the years. 10 years ago it used to get about 20 million, 20 years ago about 30 million but now has dropped to around 15 million. Why has there been such a big decline in baseball’s popularity? I see the ratings for NFL and they are as huge as ever so why baseball not so popular?

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Bill Gorman

    “I am not American. I notice in that table that there has been a big decline in the World Series ratings over the years. 10 years ago it used to get about 20 million, 20 years ago about 30 million but now has dropped to around 15 million. Why has there been such a big decline in baseball’s popularity? I see the ratings for NFL and they are as huge as ever so why baseball not so popular?”

    In the case of sports championship TV ratings, baseball isn’t unique, basketball and hockey ratings have declined over the recent decades as well. NFL Football is the unique case, the ratings for the Super Bowl continue to increase.

  • Joshua

    Hopefully it is a great series. The divisional series were some of the best ever but the LCS were both less than spectacular. If this goes 6 or 7 games then the ratings will be there.

  • Fan

    Two relatively big markets, great players. We could see some decent numbers if it goes for more than 5 games.

    @ Jon.

    Speed and lack of “excitement” of the game, other TV alternatives, mid 90s strike/steroids…

  • Jon92929

    Thank you Bill Gorman. In America, which sport is more popular, baseball or basketball?

  • Max Vrany

    Note that up to 4 World Series telecasts can compete with NFL games now. (2 Thursdays (Game 2 and Game 7?), Sunday (Game 4) and Monday (Game 5?) Game 3 competes with College Football as well. That wasn’t always the case.

  • iggy

    Sweeeep. Under 13 million.

  • billy mac

    the numbers on the list are way off , last years ws was highest rated in 15 yrs .

  • jay

    The Giants are boring. They have no real stars maybe Buster Posey. The Tigers are loaded. I would rather have seen the Cards. The Giants are a top 5 market but the Cardinals have more fans around the country.

  • jay

    @jon92929

    Bill wouldn’t be able to tell you whether basketball or baseball is more popular. If you go by ratings it is too close to call. Only difference is basketball skews much younger. Baseball makes more money due to the fact they play twice as many games and the stadiums hold about twice as many seats as basketball. I would say basketball is more popular with the 18-49 easily. Baseball has it’s old folks that have stayed loyal.

  • cas

    I feel like this article should have said Go Tigers instead of Go Giants!

  • Chris

    Out of curiosity, are you a Giants fan? Because I look at the beginning of the article and it says, “Go Giants!” In any event, looking forward to the World Series. Let’s play ball!

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Bill Gorman

    “the numbers on the list are way off , last years ws was highest rated in 15 yrs .”

    Not on the planet I like to call Earth.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Bill Gorman

    “Out of curiosity, are you a Giants fan? Because I look at the beginning of the article and it says, “Go Giants!” In any event, looking forward to the World Series. Let’s play ball!”

    Indeed, the founders of TVBTN are both Giants fans.

    “I feel like this article should have said Go Tigers instead of Go Giants!”

    When you’re writing the article, you can encourage whoever you like.

  • LT

    Go Cards!…..oh yeah. Oh well. Guess i’ll just be rooting for a sumo wrestling match between Prince Fielder and Pablo Sandoval.

  • Jesse

    This World series averages depending on length of series:
    4 games=14.2 million
    5 games=15.0 million
    6 games=15.8 million
    7 games=17.1 million

    Interesting looking at the table. Notice how in the 80s it didn’t matter who was in the world series, america loved baseball. I mean an all Missouri series between the Cardinals/Royals over 30 million. Twins/Braves over 30 million. Twins/Cardinals over 30 million. Blue Jays/Braves over 30 million. That just tells you how much Baseball’s popularity has gone down. If any of these matchups happened these days it would be lucky to break 14 million.

  • TomJH

    Bill,

    last year’s WS was actually ahead of 2010 WS through 5 games.

    It’s true NBA and NHL ratings have declined from previous decades (though the NBA is on a 5 year rise that doesn’t seem it would stop in the near future), MLB ratings and the popularity of baseball in general have cratered since the 1994 strike (and maybe a few years before also). 20 years ago baseball was still a national sport like the NFL is today, in the since that you’d still watch the playoff even if your team isn’t in it.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Series_television_ratings

  • Ron

    Should be a fairly evenly matched series but I think Detroit’s pitching will allow them to take it in 6, but probably more like 2006/2010 #s rather than 2009

  • lol

    15% think it will be below 13 mil? Lol Not a chance. These are good sized markets. At least 15 mil.

© 2014 Tribune Digital Ventures