After a thrilling start to the 2015 World Series, the Kansas City Royals took out the New York Mets and won their second World Series title. While the two cities were very excited about their teams (especially a massive city like New York), there wasn't too much buzz generated from the national media.
Game 1 of the World Series drew a 4.6 rating, which was tops for the night, but there were actually fewer people watching the game than NCIS at 8pm on CBS. It’s not a good sign, and baseball really needs a huge matchup to get interest back on the World Series. Not to say that Royals-Mets is a bad matchup, it just doesn’t have the same appeal that the Cubs and Blue Jays would have had.
It’s hardly the worst matchup to ever be featured in the World Series, as there have been some absolute snoozers to determine the MLB Champion. Between uninteresting teams, lack of starpower and small markets, some matchups just haven’t reached the masses, and here are the 15 worst World Series matchups in terms of interest. There will be a bit of a recency bias since it was hard to gauge interest in the 1950’s, so keep that in mind.
The 1998 Yankees were one of the most dominant teams in recent memory, finishing the regular season with a record of 114-48. The Padres were no pushover, either, finishing with 98 wins and beating the Braves in six games in the National League Championship Series. Ratings were up from the 1997 World Series, but they weren’t nearly as high as they were in 1996 and 1999 when the Yankees squared off with the Braves both times. Sadly, people just weren’t interested in seeing the Padres, and it wasn’t much of a series anyway as the Yankees rolled in a four game sweep.
The 2006 World Series had two teams facing off that hadn’t won a World Series since the 1980’s, but apparently that wasn’t enough to get people to care. The Tigers were a solid club that unfortunately didn’t appeal to a broad audience, and the Cardinals were one of the worst teams to make it to the World Series, finishing the regular season at just 83-78. It was a perfect storm of disinterest, and it reflected in the ratings. Viewership dropped from the 2005 World Series, and barely 16 million people tuned in to see the Cardinals celebrate their first title in 24 years.
In 2008, the Philadelphia Phillies were marking their 28th season without a championship and got their chance to break that slump in a matchup against the Tampa Bay Rays. It doesn’t matter who Tampa Bay would have played in that series, people just weren’t going to care much. Tampa was a very good team, winning 97 games in the regular season with interesting people on their roster like Carl Crawford, Joe Maddon, James Shields and more, but they couldn’t even get fans in their own city to watch them, let alone a national audience. There has only been one documented World Series game that has had less than 10 million people watching, and it came in Game 3 of the 2008 World Series. It was the ultimate “Oh, the World Series is on?” matchup when channel flipping ever.
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