Game 1 of Astros-Braves World Series opens to historically low ratings

·2-min read

If Houston Astros manager Dusty Baker finally wins a World Series but no one watches the games, does the victory actually count? The Astros took on the Atlanta Braves in Game 1 of the World Series on Tuesday, but the contest produced historically low rankings, according to Eric Fisher of SportBusiness Group.

Game 1 of the World Series averaged 10.8 million viewers, the lowest figure ever for a game at a non-neutral site.

That figure pales into comparison to some regular season NFL games. The Dallas Cowboys and New England Patriots averaged 23.2 million viewers in Week 6. That contest didn't even air during prime time. Both of the prime-time NFL games in Week 6 also outdrew Game 1 of the World Series. 

It's not really fair to compare MLB ratings to the NFL, which continues to be a behemoth in the ratings year after year. If you can separate those two sports, MLB doesn't look as miserable. 

Compared to most other programs, 10.8 million viewers isn't that bad.

Why aren't people tuning into the Astros-Braves World Series?

MLB likely would have preferred seeing the Los Angeles Dodgers or Boston Red Sox get to the World Series, but didn't get its way. With that said, it's not like Atlanta and Houston bring nothing to the table. They are both in the top 10 when it comes to media markets. 

Coverage of the World Series hasn't focused much on star power, and that may have hurt fan interest. The biggest star on either team — Braves outfielder Ronald Acuña Jr. — is unable to play due to an injury. Freddie Freeman is an excellent player, but doesn't have to same appeal. 

For the Astros, the positive focus has mainly been on manager Dusty Baker. It would be a fun story if Baker finally won a World Series ring, but that's not getting casual fans interested in watching. 

The bigger story surrounding the Astros continues to be the fallout from the team's cheating scandal. People hate watch television shows all the time, but seeing the Astros play on the biggest stage just years removed from a major scandal doesn't give off the same energy.

Ozzie Albies of the Braves.
No one tuned in to watch Game 1 of the World Series. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting