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

Sports columnists Ben Frederickson and Jeff Gordon review some popular names in the free agent class and assess their potential compatibility with the Cardinals.

Ben Frederickson,

Jeff Gordon,

Chris Dry

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

For at least the 13th straight year, St. Louis has finished in the national top 15 in the rankings for the championship round of Major League Baseball. And he was in the top 10 again for the 10th time in that span.

Nielsen, who tallies viewership, reports that Gateway City averaged 8% of its homes with television tuned to the event in which Houston defeated Philadelphia in six games. It was the second-best rating for a market outside of the competing teams’ states. Only San Diego, at 8.5, had a better number in this category.

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

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

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But overall, ratings have dropped dramatically in recent years for most TV shows, 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 households, the second-lowest number on record (the Dodgers-Rays game in the coronavirus-delayed 2020 season was 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 had an average rating of 8.1. The figure for games in 2014, 2015 and 2017 was 12.2. (We excluded 2016 because the Chicago Cubs’ successful quest to end their 108-year title drought generated outsized interest and produced an outlier, 21.3 rating.)

The last time the Cardinals played in the World Series, in 2013, the odds at St. Louis were 40.8. The combined Philadelphia and Houston’s count this year was 49.0.

St. Louis World Series Annual Rankings

Recent annual World Series rankings in St. Louis, and where the market ranked nationally, according to figures from audience tracker Nielsen. (Rating is the percentage of households with a TV in the market that tuned in):

Year Results Evaluation 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, Los Angeles Dodgers 1 9.8 13
2017 Houston 4, Los Angeles Dodgers 3 13.2 13
2016 Chicago Cubs 4, Cleveland 3 21.3 6
2015 Kansas City 4, New York 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 standings by game this year

St. Louis game-by-game TV standings for this year’s World Series and where the national standings, according to Nielsen:

Game Evaluation 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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