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2023 World Baseball Classic final gains record 5.2m US viewers

Published: Updated: 07:40, 29 Mar 2023
Viewership for Japan’s win against USA smashed previous record of 3.05m

As per Major League Baseball (MLB), Japan’s 3-2 victory over the United States in the World Baseball Classic (WBC) final amassed a record average audience of 5.2 million viewers in the US. 

This year’s audience figures saw a colossal 69% increase on the 2017 WBC final, with 3.05 million viewers tuning in to watch the United States defeat Puerto Rico four years ago. 

The combined audience was drawn from broadcasts on Fox’s FS1 linear channel, Fox Deportes Spanish language channel and Fox Sports streaming platforms, with viewership peaking at 6.5 million on FS1 and Fox Deportes.

FS1 saw 4.5 million viewers alone, setting the record for the biggest-ever audience for a WBC game on a single US network. 

On top of that, the 2023 WBC final outperformed all but one of last year’s MLB regular season and playoff games on Fox. Game four between the Philadelphia Phillies and San Diego Padres was the only exception, averaging 4.88 million viewers. 

More than 36,000 fans attended the final at LoanDeport Park in Miami, Florida, although the home supporters saw their team fall short, with Shohei Ohtani dispatching Mike Trout in the ninth inning to close out the victory for Japan. 

The Japanese now hold three of the five World Baseball Classic titles, having won the first two editions of the tournament in 2006 and 2009. They also hold the record for the most wins in WBC play, recording 23 victories over the years. 

It is believed that the drama of the final – and the record-breaking viewing figures – will enhance baseball’s chances of featuring at the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles, as the sport is on the shortlist for the Games. 

With the 2023 MLB season set to get underway on March 30, be sure to bookmark Sporticos to keep up to date with all the latest baseball-related broadcasting developments and Sports Streams News.

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