The Cubs-Dodgers game 5 and Chicago-Green Bay Thursday Night Football game went head-to-head on Thursday night. It shouldn’t be notable that a postseason game outright beat a game in a local market involving a 1-5 team. But, given how dominant the NFL has been as a television property, it is.
Last night, the Cubs-Dodgers Game 5 got a rating about twice as high as the Thursday Night game, in Chicago. Over a million Chicago viewers were watching the Cubs (24.1 local rating), while about 600,000 watched the Bears (12.8 local rating).
The factors should have played into such a result (Cubs in a key playoff game, trying to get to World Series, Bears being awful), but with not everyone in Chicago being a Cubs fan, it is still a notable result. It probably didn’t help that Matt Barkley was in the game after Brian Hoyer’s injury, and there wasn’t much hope for late-game drama.
It will be interesting to see what the national ratings show. There, the Thursday Night game has the advantage of being on CBS as well as NFL Network, while baseball was on cable on Fox Sports 1. According to Austin Karp, Game 5 of the NLCS drew a 5.3 overnight rating. The national rating for the NFL game has not been released yet.
Last week’s game between the Chargers and Broncos drew more than 3x as many viewers as the Dodgers-Nationals Game 5 of the NLDS nationally. The Fox Sports 1 broadcast beat the NFL Network only numbers, though, and there weren’t competing eyeballs in the local markets.