BRISTOL, Conn. — The pandemic-delayed Major League Baseball opener has been the game’s most-watched regular-season match on any media in nine decades.
The match appeared at 8:30 p.m. EDT with 4.48 million audiences.
No regular-season game was seen by that many as 4.7 million saw Boston beat the Yankees 3-2 in 10 innings on Aug. 7, 2011, also on ESPN.
ESPN’s previous high for an opener has been 3.7 million to get a 2017 matchup between the St. Louis Cardinals and Chicago Cubs. Chicago tied the score with three runs in the ninth, as well as Randal Grichuck hit a walk-off single off Mike Montgomery at the lowest half. Seattle’s 12-4 victory over Boston on opening night this past year has been observed by 1.2 million on ESPN.
The Los Angeles Dodgers’ 8-1 win over San Francisco at the next game of Thursday’s doubleheader averaged 2,764,000 audiences on ESPN. The system said it had been its most-watched late-night Eastern time baseball telecast, topping the previous high of 1,817,000 to the Chicago Cubs’ 3-2 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers on April 10, 2017, a match which finished on Anthony Rizzo’s one-off Kenley Jansen.