Game 1 of the World Series averaged 19.4 million viewers Tuesday night, up from 14.9 million for Game 1 last season, when the Mets faced the Royals, and the highest such figure for a Game 1 since the Yankees and Phillies averaged 19.5 in 2009.
The impressive start bodes well for Cubs vs. Indians to become the first Series to average more than 20 million viewers since the Red Sox’s sweep of the Cardinals in 2004. A six- or seven-game series would help achieve that goal.
Game 1 averaged 46.5 percent of homes in the Cleveland area, far better than the 36.0 for Game 1 of the NBA Finals last spring between the Cavaliers and Warriors.
Nationally, viewership peaked at 22.7 million at 9:15 p.m. The later parts of the game were hurt by the fact the Indians won, 6-0.
The ratings for Game 2 figure to be negatively impacted by the decision to start an hour earlier than scheduled because of a rainy forecast for later Wednesday night.