The Fall Classic between Kansas City and San Francisco, headed to its sixth game on Tuesday night, has only served to amplify baseball’s loosening grip on armchair fans, particularly in comparison to professional football. CBS won the ratings last week with an average of 11.5 million viewers in primetime. Fox had 10.1 million viewers, NBC had 7.8 million, ABC had 6.6 million, Univision had 2.8 million, the CW had 1.7 million, Ion Television had 1.2 million and Telemundo had 1.1 million.
NEW YORK (AP) — There’s a World Series going on, television fans. Not that many people seem to care.
The Fall Classic between Kansas City and San Francisco, headed to its sixth game on Tuesday night, has only served to amplify baseball’s loosening grip on armchair fans, particularly in comparison to professional football.
Through five games, the Series has averaged 12.07 million viewers on Fox, the Nielsen Co. said. Currently, the least-watched Series ever was the Giants’ four-game sweep of the Detroit Tigers two years ago. None of the first five games has even topped 13 million people, Nielsen said.
By contrast, three regular-season NFL games that aired in prime time last week, on CBS, NBC and ESPN, all had more than 13 million, with CBS’ Thursday night game getting more than 20 million viewers.
Most likely, only a winner-take-all seventh game would help this Giants-Royals matchup avoid the dubious distinction of least popular World Series since it became a regular TV fixture.
World Series seventh games — baseball’s ultimate event — have happened only five times since 1988. The least-watched seventh game, with the St. Louis Cardinals beating the Texas Rangers in 2011, had 25.4 million viewers. The 1991 game between Minnesota Twins and Atlanta Braves drew a staggering 50 million viewers.
Five World Series games in prime time couldn’t help Fox win last week in the ratings, although the network led among viewers ages 18 to 49.
The ABC comedy “Manhattan Love Story,” won a contest no TV show ever wants to: first new fall series to be canceled. Its last episode last week had 2.6 million viewers, fewer than any other first-run shows last week on the four biggest networks.
CBS won the week with an average of 11.5 million viewers in primetime. Fox had 10.1 million viewers, NBC had 7.8 million, ABC had 6.6 million, Univision had 2.8 million, the CW had 1.7 million, Ion Television had 1.2 million and Telemundo had 1.1 million.
ESPN was the week’s most popular cable network, averaging 2.95 million viewers in primetime. AMC had 1.73 million, the Disney Channel had 1.71 million, Fox News Channel had 1.64 million and USA had 1.62 million.
NBC’s “Nightly News” topped the evening newscasts with an average of 8.4 million viewers. ABC’s “World News Tonight” was second with 7.9 million and the “CBS Evening News” had 6.5 million viewers.
The Top 20
Primetime viewership numbers compiled by the Nielsen Co. for Oct. 20-26. Listings include the week’s ranking and viewership.
1. NFL Football: San Diego at Denver, CBS, 20.22 million.
2. NFL Football: Green Bay at New Orleans, NBC, 18.8 million.
3. “NCIS,” CBS, 17.13 million.
4. “NCIS: New Orleans,” CBS, 16.13 million.
5. “The Big Bang Theory,” CBS, 16.02 million.
6. “The Walking Dead,” AMC, 13.8 million.
7. “Sunday Night NFL Pre-Kick,” NBC, 13.55 million.
8. NFL Football: Houston at Pittsburgh, ESPN, 13.28 million.
9. “60 Minutes,” CBS, 13.23 million.
10. World Series Game 2: San Francisco at Kansas City, Fox, 12.92 million.
11. World Series Game 5: Kansas City at San Francisco, Fox, 12.64 million.
12. “Dancing With the Stars,” ABC, 12.58 million.
13. “NFL Thursday Night Pre-Kick Show,” CBS, 12.19 million.
13. World Series Game 1: San Francisco at Kansas City, Fox, 12.19 million.
15. World Series Game 3: Kansas City at San Francisco, Fox, 12.13 million.
16. “The Voice” (Tuesday), NBC, 11.95 million.
17. “The Voice” (Monday), NBC, 11.9 million.
18. “Madam Secretary,” CBS, 11.71 million.
19. “Blue Bloods,” CBS, 11.42 million.
20. “Scorpion,” CBS, 10.75 million.