With the possibility of Washington D.C.'s first World Series win in more than 100 years, the Washington Nationals’ game seven victory over the Houston Astros Wednesday night drew 24 million viewers across all of Fox’s platforms. That was a 39 percent increase over the previous game's viewership.
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The drama of the final game proved a huge boost as through the first five games, the World Series had been averaging 11.6 million viewers. The audience for the last game of the Nats-Astros match-up proved too much for the competition on CBS, NBC, ABC and The CW as Fox won the prime time ratings race. As Fox Sports executive vice president Mike Mulvihill tweeted, it proved once again the value of live sports programming in the age of streaming and DVRs.
Despite its strength against other prime time fare, the numbers still present challenges for Major League Baseball which has seen dips in its live gate and national TV games. As big as 24 million viewers in game 7 was, the entire series finished as the third-least viewed ever.
But Mulvihill on Twitter responded to critics about the drop by explaining the business strategy of the World Series.