A fun ratings night: World Series Game 5 versus Cowboys-Eagles and “The Walking Dead” (Updated)


Update: in overnight ratings the Indians-Cubs World Series Game 5 easily topped the Eagles Cowboys 15.3 vs 11.6.  (Those numbers are not millions of viewers, but the percentage of homes tuned-in in the the biggest 56 markets in the USA.)  While there is no way to precisely project average viewership from the overnight numbers the World Series game should easily draw more than 20 million. The Eagles-Cowboys game will likely see less than 20 million.

Before 2007 Sundays were mostly reserved for games 2 & 7. Since then it’s been a mish-mash of game 4s or 5s on a Sunday and in that era Yankees-Phillies game 4 in 2009 is the only non-game 7 Sunday game to top 20 million viewers (22.8 million).

Last year’s Royals clincher over the Mets in game 5  on a Sunday fell well short of 20 million viewers averaging 17.2 million.

On Saturday morning Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch tweeted that through three games things were lining up spectacularly for Fox to draw over 20 million viewers in a game 6.

I offered up that it might sound crazy but if the Cubs lost in game 4 that even game 5 might draw 20 million. Even against a Sunday Night Football matchup featuring the Dallas Cowboys. And yes, I know “The Walking Dead” is also on Sunday Night.

Several responded that not only did that sound crazy, it was in fact crazy. Others were more specific in pointing out that it was crazy because hardly anyone but Cleveland Indians fans would want to watch the Indians win.

I mostly agree with that. The idea was that LOTS of people will want to watch the Cubs NOT lose — that by virtue of being an elimination game more folks who’ve casually hopped on the Cubs bandwagon will watch than if the series were tied 2-2.

It’s possible that’s a decent idea but that the premise of 20 million or more viewers is still crazy.

But if Jupiter aligns with Mars and the game is close in the late innings and the Cowboys-Eagles game isn’t that close…maybe!

Speaking of “The Walking Dead” the Cubs did lose game 4 so we’ll get to find out.

The setup makes for a fun ratings night on Sunday even if a nervous one for Cubs fans and Fox executives who are hoping for at least six games.

CNN’s Frank Pallotta asks the question of whether even hitting the 20 million viewer mark would be enough for World Series game 5 to outdraw Sunday Night Football?

With the September 25th Bears-Cowboys game the Cowboys won 31-17 drawing 20.6 million that will be a tough hill to climb.


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