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Indians, Cubs Draw Big Audience to World Series Opener

Updated on

The Cleveland Indians’ 6-0 victory over the Chicago Cubs in Tuesday’s World Series opener drew the largest audience for game one of the Major League Baseball championship since 2009, showing wide interest in two teams that have suffered for decades without a title.

The broadcast attracted 19.4 million viewers, according to Nielsen data released by the Fox network, which televised the game. That was the largest game one audience since 19.5 million watched the Philadelphia Phillies play the New York Yankees in 2009, according to the broadcast unit of 21st Century Fox Inc.

The Cubs and Indians have the longest championship droughts in baseball, with Chicago’s team having last won in 1908. The Indians took home baseball’s championship in 1948. Viewing in those cities was especially high, with almost 50 percent of Cleveland’s TVs tuned in and 34 percent watching in Chicago, preliminary data showed. Eight newer teams, including five that joined the majors in 1960s, have never won the World Series.

Including people watching on Fox Deportes and Fox Sports Go, the audience totaled 19.8 million, making it the biggest Game one since 23.2 million saw the St. Louis Cardinals battle the Boston Red Sox in 2004.

(Updates viewer numbers from Fox.)
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