Washington Nationals’ World Series win gives MLB best TV ratings in nation’s capital in two decades

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Washington Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo and manager Dave Martinez #4 hold up the World Series trophy after the Nationals defeat the Houston Astros in Game 7 to win the 2019 World Series at Minute Maid Park on Wednesday, October 30, 2019 in Houston, Texas.

Alex Trautwig | Major League Baseball | Getty Images

The Washington Nationals have revived baseball in the nation’s capital, and the television ratings are proof Major League Baseball is also making a comeback in the D.C. area.

The ratings for Game 7 of the World Series between the Nationals and Houston Astros were the best ratings for any MLB telecast in the Washington, D.C. market since 1998, according to league officials.

Roughly 37.8% of viewers in the Washington market were watching the Oct. 30 contest against the Astros that night, MLB officials said.

Officials said the World Series in the D.C. area finished with an average rating in the local market of 23.3% across all seven games.

Additionally, five of the seven World Series games were the highest-rated MLB games in D.C. since Game 7 of 2001 World Series featuring the Arizona Diamondbacks and the New York Yankees.

The television ratings in the nation’s capital is a victory for the MLB as the league crowned a Washington D.C. team their first World Series title and the first Washington team to make it to the big stage in 86 years.

“While baseball in Washington D.C. has grown since MLB’s return in 2005, it is clear that interest has exploded in conjunction with the historic postseason run by the 2019 Nationals,” Chris Tully, the MLB executive vice president of global media, said in an email to CNBC. “Whether it is television ratings, digital consumption, media coverage or even the atmosphere in the ballpark, all indicators in October show Washington, D.C. is embracing baseball and the Nationals like never before.”

Popularity for Nationals during their championship run not only showed in the ratings — but in the stands, too. League officials said the viewing parties for the postseason away games attracted thousands of fans, including 14,000 who attended viewing party for Game 2, which was played in Houston, at Nationals Park. Roughly 16,000 Nationals’ fans attended the viewing party in the baseball stadium for Game 7, which was also an away game. 


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