Sunday evening’s World Series Game 5 between the Chicago Cubs and Cleveland Indians received a higher overnight television rating than the Sunday Night Football game between the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles. The World Series scored a 15.3 rating, beating Sunday Night Football’s mark of 11.6.
The ratings for Game 5 of the World Series were up 46 percent over Saturday’s Game 4. Last night’s ratings were also up 31 percent from last year’s Game 5 between the Kansas City Royals and New York Mets, which clinched the series for the Royals. The World Series has not out-drawn Sunday Night Football since Game 4 of the 2011 World Series between the St. Louis Cardinals and Texas Rangers.
For the NFL, the ratings concern may be bigger than this one instance.
Ratings have been down across the board for the NFL this season, especially for primetime games like Sunday and Monday Night football. There is a growing sense that viewers are over-saturated with football, with four windows on Sunday with the game in London between the Washington Redskins and Cincinnati Bengals airing in the morning.
Adding in Thursday Night and Monday Night Football, the NFL has six television windows on weeks that feature an overseas matchup. The ratings from this season suggest that there is perhaps more televised football than Americans are interested in watching. Last night’s ratings for football weren’t especially low, in fact, they were right in line with the previous week – but just two months ago it would have not seemed possible for baseball to out-draw football.
The World Series will continue with Game 6 on Tuesday evening with the Indians leading the series 3-2 over the Cubs.