Fox scores ratings win as World Series viewership rebounds

Entertainment

Houston Astros relief pitcher Ryne Stanek celebrates the last out in the seventh inning of Game 5 of baseball’s World Series between the Houston Astros and the Atlanta Braves Sunday, Oct. 31, 2021, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Baseball was especially good to Fox, with the Atlanta-Houston World Series lifting the network to its first weekly ratings win in the young TV season.

The series rebounded from last year’s contest, which hit an all-time viewership low that was attributed to the pandemic and competition from the 2020 presidential election.

The Houston Astros must-have win Sunday over the Atlanta Braves, then leading the series 3-1, was the standout so far in the potential seven-game series, according to Nielsen figures out Tuesday.

The 9-5 Astros victory drew 13.6 million viewers — a 35% jump over the 10 million who watched 2020’s Los Angeles Dodgers Game 5 defeat of the Tampa Bay Rays.

Last year, the Dodgers went on to a six-game win over the Rays that posted a TV rating down 32% from the previous World Series low, the San Francisco Giants’ four-game sweep of the Detroit Tigers in 2012.

Bragging rights also went to football and NBC last week, with NFL regular-season games earning the top two spots for the week.

Overall, Fox averaged 11.9 million viewers in prime time, followed by NBC with 5.4 million. CBS had 3.9 million, ABC had 3.5 million, Univision had 1.3 million, ION Television had 970,000 and Telemundo had 930,000.

Fox News Channel was the most-watched cable channel in prime time with an average 2.21 million viewers. It was followed by ESPN with 2.17 million, Hallmark with 1.28 million, MSNBC with 1.11 million and HGTV with 857,000.

ABC’s “World News Tonight” led the evening news ratings competition, averaging 8.1 million viewers. NBC’s “Nightly News” had 7 million, and the “CBS Evening News” had 5.2 million.

For the week of Oct. 25-31, the top 20 prime-time programs, their networks and viewerships:

NFL Football: Green Bay at Arizona, Fox, 20.3 million.

NFL Football: Dallas at Minnesota, NBC, 15.7 million.

MLB World Series Game 5, Fox, 13.6 million.

“The OT,” Fox, 13.3 million.

MLB Pregame (Sunday), Fox, 12.5 million.

NFL Pregame (Sunday), NBC, 11.8 million.

MLB World Series Game 3, Fox, 11.2 million.

NFL Football: New Orleans at Seattle, ESPN, 11.19 million.

MLB World Series Game 1, Fox, 10.8 million.

MLB World Series Game 4, Fox, 10.5 million.

NFL Pregame (Thursday), Fox, 10.46 million.

MLB World Series Game 2, Fox, 10.3 million.

NFL Pregame (Sunday), NBC, 9.2 million.

“Young Sheldon,” CBS, 7.2 million.

“60 Minutes,” CBS, 7.11 million.

“Saturday Night Football: Penn State at Ohio State,” ABC, 7.1 million.

“The Voice” (Monday), NBC, 6.9 million.

“Chicago Fire,” NBC, 6.801 million.

“Chicago Med,” NBC, 6.8 million.

“The Voice” (Tuesday), NBC, 6.7 million.

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