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MEDIA VIEWS

St. Louis again is among nation's leaders in World Series television ratings

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World Series Phillies Astros Baseball (copy)

Yordan Alvarez celebrates after hitting a three-run homer in the sixth inning of Game 6 of the World Series on Saturday, Nov. 5, 2022, in Houston. The blast propelled the Astros to a 4-1 victory over the Phillies in what was the decisive game of the Series.  

Sports columnists Ben Frederickson and Jeff Gordon run through some popular names in the free-agent class and assess their potential fit with the Cardinals.

Another World Series, another big draw for St. Louis television viewers.

For at least the 13th year in a row, St. Louis finished in the top 15 nationally in ratings for Major League Baseball’s championship round. And it was in the top 10 again for the 10th time in that span.

Nielsen, which tabulates viewership, reports that the Gateway City averaged 8% of its homes with a TV tuning in to the event in which Houston beat Philadelphia in six games. That was the second-best rating for a market outside the states of the teams that were competing. Only San Diego, at 8.5, had a better figure in that category.

Philadelphia led the way, at 25.0, followed by Houston (24.0); Austin, Texas, (10.5); and San Antonio (10.2).

The World Series viewership performance caps a banner year in St. Louis for baseball ratings. Cardinals telecasts led the country for local packages, and the market was No. 1 nationally in All-Star Game and Home Run Derby ratings. St. Louis also was in the top 10 nationally for all six World Series contests.

But in the big picture, ratings are down significantly in recent years for most all television programming, and the World Series and St. Louis are no exception.

Fox’s national coverage of the Fall Classic this year was seen in an average of 6.1 million homes, the second-lowest figure ever (the Dodgers-Rays matchup in the coronavirus-delayed 2020 season was at 5.2). The last three World Series are the three lowest-rated on record.

In St. Louis (KTVI, Channel 2), the last three Fall Classics averaged a rating of 8.1. The figure for the 2014, ’15 and ’17 matchups was 12.2. (We excluded 2016, because the Chicago Cubs’ successful quest to end their 108-year title drought drew an inordinate amount of interest and produced an outlier rating, 21.3.)

The last time the Cardinals were in the World Series, 2013, the rating in St. Louis was 40.8. The combined Philadelphia and Houston number this year was 49.0.

Year-by-year St. Louis World Series rankings

Recent yearly World Series ratings in St. Louis, and where the market ranked nationally, according to figures from viewership tracker Nielsen. (The rating is the percentage of homes with a TV in the market that tuned in):

Year Result Rating Rank
2022 Houston 4, Philadelphia 3 8.0 6
2021 Atlanta 4, Houston 2 9.1 14
2020 LA Dodgers 4, Tampa Bay 2 7.3 8
2019 Washington 4, Houston 3 12.0 6
2018 Boston 4, LA Dodgers 1 9.8 13
2017 Houston 4, LA Dodgers 3 13.2 13
2016 Chicago Cubs 4, Cleveland 3 21.3 6
2015 Kansas City 4, NY Mets 1 7.2 3
2014 San Francisco 4, Kanas City 3 16.1 4
2013 Boston 4, Cardinals 2 40.5 1
2012 San Francisco 4, Detroit 0 11.0 5
2011 Cardinals 4, Texas 3 47.1 1
2010 San Francisco 4, Texas 1 11.7 6

St. Louis World Series ratings by game this year

Game-by-game TV ratings in St. Louis for this year's World Series and where the ranked nationally, according to Nielsen:

Game Rating Rank
1 7.9 5
2 6.0 10 (tie)
3 8.0 5 (tie)
4 8.2 6
5 9.2 6
6 8.5 6
Avg. 8.0 6
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