ESPN Gets Strong Viewership For 2019 College World Series
The decisive third game of the College World Series finals on June 26 between Vanderbilt and Michigan, which saw the Commodores defeat the Wolverines to win the national championship, was the most-watched baseball game on ESPN this year.
The College World Series finals averaged 1.96 million viewers over the three games, matching last year’s finals that saw Oregon State beat Arkansas for the national title. The last two finals have been the most watched since 2014, when Vanderbilt defeated Virginia for the national championship.
Game 3 of the finals drew 2,020,596 viewers, up 7 percent from last year. According to Nielsen data compiled by Sports Media Watch, it was the first baseball or softball broadcast on ESPN to this year surpass 2 million viewers. The previous high had been a Red Sox versus Yankees game on June 2, which drew 1.97 million viewers.
All three games of the finals drew strong viewership numbers and rank in the top four most-watched ESPN baseball broadcasts of the year. Game 1 drew 1.89 million viewers, the best Game 1 viewership for the finals since 2014, and Game 2 drew 1.96 million viewers.
Michigan proved to be an excellent TV draw, as the top four most-watched games of the College World Series involved the Wolverines.
In addition to the three finals games, Michigan’s victory against Florida State on June 17 in a winners’ bracket game ranked No. 4 with 1.29 million viewers. Michigan typically draws big numbers for football and men’s basketball, and it is good news for baseball to see its fanbase was engaged in the College World Series.
The fifth most-watched game of the College World Series was Texas Tech’s victory against Florida State on June 19 in an elimination game that proved to be the final game of Mike Martin’s legendary career.
The strong viewership numbers from this year’s College World Series finals corresponded with strong attendance at TD Ameritrade Park. For the first time, all three games of the finals drew at least 20,000 fans to the stadium. It was the ninth time since the best-of-three format was introduced in 2003 that the finals has gone to Game 3.
Total attendance for the College World Series was 332,454 in 15 games. The total attendance at the event has not fallen below 300,000 in any year since first hitting the mark in 2006.