The momentum that carried the Boston Red Sox into the World Series, and to wins in its first two games, is spilling over to baseball broadcaster FOX.
The first two games of the Fall Classic between the Sox and the St. Louis Cardinals brought in markedly bigger audiences than last year’s first two games, which featured the New York Yankees and Florida Marlins. They also stack up favorably to the series-opening games of the past decade.
Saturday’s Game 1, an 11-9 Red Sox victory, averaged 23.2 million viewers, the biggest audience for a World Series opener since the Yankees-Atlanta matchup in 1996. It also scored a strong 8.0 rating among adults 18-49, FOX’s target demographic.
Last year’s Game 1, by comparison, drew about 17.7 million viewers and a 6.0 in adults 18-49.
Game 2 on Sunday night, which the Sox won 6-2, improved on Saturday’s numbers, drawing an audience of 25.5 million and a 9.0 adults 18-49 rating. That’s an improvement of almost 5 million viewers over last year’s second game and the biggest Game 2 audience since 1995, when the Braves played the Cleveland Indians.
The surge in ratings is doubtless due in part to the well-documented history of frustration for the Sox, who last won the World Series in 1918 and last played for the championship in 1986. Their comeback against the Yankees to win the American League title was the first time in baseball a team won a seven-game series after losing the first three games.
Should the ratings numbers hold, this year’s World Series will be the most-watched since at least 2001, which averaged 24.5 million viewers over its seven games. Game 3 is Tuesday (Oct. 26) in St. Louis.