World Series 2018: Red Sox-Dodgers TV ratings down 23 percent from 2017

While the World Series boasted two popular teams from big markets, TV ratings for the 2018 series were down 23 percent from 2017, reports.

An average of 14.3 million viewers watched during the five series games, a 23 percent drop from the 18.7 million that watched the Astros beat LA in the 2017 Fall Classic.

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That decline is not unexpected, for several reasons. First, the 2017 series went seven games. A longer, closer series generates more interest. Also, TV ratings for sporting events have been gradually declining for years. One reason is more fans are watching the games through non-traditional means, such as streaming. On that note, Variety reports that on Fox Sports streaming platforms, Game 5 was the fourth-most-streamed game in World Series history, with an average-minute audience of 240,000. That’s up 40 percent from 2017’s Game 5.

Still, the TV ratings decline will feed into the narrative that MLB needs to fix the sport and deal with issues such as the length of games, pace of play and too many strikeouts.

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