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Cubs World Series Game 5 Beats NFL In TV Ratings

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The Cubs are very, very popular.

Al Yellon

All of you here watched the World Series with great interest, of course.

But you were joined by millions of others, more than in most recent years for the World Series. This isn’t a big surprise as the Cubs not only have a huge national fanbase, but this year’s World Series story is compelling.

That made for a TV rating that topped Sunday Night Football on NBC, according to Sports Media Watch:

Head-to-head, Game 5 easily topped Eagles/Cowboys on NBC’s Sunday Night Football (11.6), the first time since 2013 that the World Series has topped SNF in the metered markets. In addition to the other superlatives, the 15.3 is the highest for a World Series game on a Sunday night since Yankees/Phillies Game 4 in 2009 (15.6) — the last year that the NFL did not schedule SNF opposite the World Series.

Beyond that, SMW says it was the highest-rated World Series game in many years:

Game 5 of the Indians/Cubs World Series had a 15.3 overnight rating on FOX Sunday night, up 31% from Royals/Mets last year (11.7), up 87% from Royals/Giants in 2014 (8.2), and the highest for any Major League Baseball game since Game 7 of the 2011 Rangers/Cardinals Fall Classic (16.3).

Fox network executives are likely pulling hard for the Cubs to win Game 6, as that would create a compelling storyline for them to promote for a Game 7. The SMW article also says Game 5 drew a 42.3 rating in Chicago, higher than any of the White Sox’ 2005 World Series games and the highest for any baseball game televised in Chicago since the 47.1 rating for NLCS Game 7 in 2003.

Cubs/Indians Game 6 will likely draw the highest national rating for any MLB game in perhaps 15 or 20 years, and a Game 7 would go even higher than that.

We’re watching a story that might not only have a great ending for us as Cubs fans, but would be spellbinding national theater. #LetsGo