World Series opener most viewed on TV since 2019

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The Philadelphia Phillies' 6-5, 10-inning win over the Houston Astros in the World Series opener drew 11.68 million viewers on Fox, Fox Deportes and the Fox Sports streaming app, the highest for Game 1 since 2019.

The game was seen by 11,475,000 viewers on Fox and 207,000 viewers on Fox Deportes last Friday night, Fox said Monday.

This year's total was up 5% from the 10,934,000 who watched last year’s opener, a 6-2 Atlanta win over the Astros, and up 23% from the Game 1 record low set in 2020 when 9,353,000 watched the Los Angeles Dodgers' 8-3 win over the Tampa Bay Rays. Washington's Game 1 win over Houston in 2019 was seen by 12,283,000.

The 2020 World Series, played at a neutral site in Arlington, Texas, because of the pandemic, was the first in the televised era in which games were viewed by fewer than 10 million. The low of 8,339,000 was set for the Dodgers’ 6-2 win in Game 3, on a Friday.

Viewers peaked at 51,560,000 for Game 7 of the 1975 World Series between the Boston Red Sox and Cincinnati Reds. Totals declined with the rise of cable television and then of streaming services, giving viewers more choices.

This year's opener, which began at 8:04 p.m. EDT and ended at 12:38 a.m. Saturday, drew a 23.6 rating and 57 share in Houston, and a 23.0 rating and 54 share in Philadelphia

The rating is the percentage of television households tuned in to a broadcast. The share is the percentage viewing a telecast among those households with TVs on at the time.

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Ronald Blum, The Associated Press