LLWS Sets ESPN Record, Earns Network’s Top Baseball Audience Since 2007


Wednesday’s Little League World Series coverage earned ESPN’s largest audience for any baseball game in seven years.

The Nevada/Pennsylvania Little League World Series game earned a 3.1 U.S. rating and just under 5.0 million viewers on ESPN Wednesday night, the highest rated and most-watched Little League telecast ever on ESPN or ESPN2. The previous high was 3.3 million for California/New York in 2001. Both the current and previous record-holders, it should be noted, involved players who attracted significant media attention.

Overall, the game ranks as the most-watched Little League telecast on any network since the 2007 championship game on ABC (5.03M to 4.99M).

Excluding the Home Run Derby, Nevada/Pennsylvania also earned a larger audience than every Major League Baseball telecast on ESPN in over seven years — since Yankees/Red Sox in April 2007 (5.3M). That 2007 game, it should be pointed out, remains the most-watched MLB telecast on ESPN since the network televised Mark McGwire‘s 62nd home run in 1998.

One would likely have to go back to 2006 (or even earlier) to find a regular season MLB telecast on FOX that earned as large an audience.

Nevada/Pennsylvania also outdrew every regular season NBA game on ESPN since the network resumed airing games in 2002 (the record is 4.88M for Lakers/Rockets in January 2003) and every college basketball game on the network since 2008 (5.28M for Tennessee/Memphis in February and 5.61M for Duke/North Carolina in March).

As previously reported, Wednesday’s game set local records in both home markets — Las Vegas (16.3) and Philadelphia (14.9).

(Wed. numbers from ESPN Media Zone)