The World Series wrapped up on Wednesday night with the Texas Rangers storming the field to celebrate the team’s first-ever championship.
But relatively few people saw the effort it had taken to get there.
This year’s matchup between the Rangers and the Arizona Diamondbacks notched the lowest viewership totals of any World Series since records have been kept, going back to the 1960s, according to Nielsen.
The five games averaged 9.1 million viewers, displacing the 2020 World Series, which averaged 9.8 million after a pandemic-shortened season. Also, the 2020 World Series was played at a neutral stadium, depriving the telecasts of the crowd energy that fuels a championship broadcast.
Monday night’s Game 3 had just 8.12 million viewers, making it the least-watched World Series game since records were kept. Game 2 did only a bit better, with 8.15 million viewers. The previous low was Game 3 of the 2020 World Series — played between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Tampa Bay Rays — which was watched by 8.34 million.
The deciding fifth game on Wednesday night had the biggest audience of the series — 11.5 million.
The low ratings did not go without notice in cities whose teams had been eliminated from the playoffs. More than a week after the Rangers defeated the Houston Astros in the American League Championship Series, The Houston Chronicle declared: “Miss us yet? World Series ratings crater with Astros out of playoffs.”
Still, the World Series viewership totals were generally stronger than anything else on network television these days.
For instance, Tuesday night’s Game 4 averaged 8.5 million viewers. The next-best performer on network television that night was an episode of “The Voice” on NBC, which averaged 5.3 million. On Wednesday, the second-most-watched show was an episode of “Survivor,” which notched 4.9 million viewers, fewer than half the Game 5 audience.