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World Baseball Classic Sets New Records

World Baseball Classic

The 2017 World Baseball Classic is in the books, and it proved to be a successful showcase, setting several new digital consumption, viewing, attendance, and merchandise sale records. 

The fourth edition of the premier international baseball tournament concluded with the United States winning its first tournament title by defeating Puerto Rico 8-0 Wednesday at Dodger Stadium.


  • The World Baseball Classic set an event attendance record by drawing 1,086,720, marking the first time the event has surpassed 1 million. The 2017 attendance marks a +23% increase over the 2013 event, which drew 885,212.
  • With a crowd of 51,565, the 2017 Championship game at Dodger Stadium was the most-attended game of the tournament and the second most-attended matchup in tournament history.
  • The 2017 event registered the two most-attended pools in the event’s history, with the Second Round in Tokyo drawing 209,072 and the First Round in Tokyo reaching 206,534.


  • Last night’s Championship drew the largest ever U.S. audience for a World Baseball Classic game with 3.1 million viewers across MLB Network, ESPN Deportes and the Spanish language simulcast on ESPN2.
  • Viewership for the 2017 World Baseball Classic on MLB Network increased +32% over the 2013 edition.
  • Last night’s telecast of the Championship Game between USA and Puerto Rico drew 2.3 million viewers on MLB Network, marking its second-most watched telecast ever, only behind 2016 NLDS Game Two between the Chicago Cubs and San Francisco Giants.
  • The 2017 World Baseball Classic delivered MLB Network its three most-viewed non-Postseason games in Network history.
    • 2.3 million for USA vs. Puerto Rico on 3/22/17
    • 1.4 million for USA vs. Japan on 3/21/17
    • 977,000 for USA vs. Dominican Republic on 3/11/17
  • During the tournament, MLB Network registered its most-watched week (March 6-12) and is expected to have the most-watched first quarter in its history.
  • The World Baseball Classic Championship Game was the largest ever U.S. audience for a Spanish language telecast of a baseball game with 761,000 viewers on ESPN Deportes and a simulcast on ESPN2.


  • In Puerto Rico, 70% of televisions that were on last night were tuned into the World Baseball Classic Championship game.
  • In addition, 67% of people in Puerto Rico watching television during the Puerto Rico vs. Mexico game on March 11 were watching the contest. On March 14, that number was 59% during the Puerto Rico vs. Dominican Republic game.
  • Each of the three First Round Japan games recorded higher ratings than everything else on television in Japan that week. The U.S. vs. Japan semifinal game on March 21 had a peak rating of 25.4 (the percentage of households in the country watching the game).
  • In the Dominican Republic, ratings for DR games were +10% higher than during the 2013 tournament where the team went undefeated on their way to winning the title.

*** International television ratings take more time to secure than U.S. ratings. Not all games and regions were available immediately following the tournament.


  • MLB.TV subscribers in the United States consumed a record 70 million minutes of live World Baseball Classic games on all supported streaming platforms, including the At Bat app, throughout the 2017 tournament.
  • Overall, World Baseball Classic video views across all owned and operated platforms saw an increase of +59% over the 2013 tournament, with more than 3 million video accesses by fans.
  • Total traffic to rose +41% from the 2013 tournament, with the top countries and territories outside the 50 United States being Japan, Canada, Taiwan, Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico.


  • World Baseball Classic merchandise sales at increased +50% over sales in 2013.
  • Sales of World Baseball Classic merchandise at host venues was the largest in the event’s history with an increase of +15% over the previous tournament.
  • The First Round in Tokyo had the largest venue concessions sales in event history. The Tokyo sales were +25% higher than the previous record holder, which was the 2013 First Round in Fukuoka, Japan.

Merchandise sales at the First Round in Miami and Second Round in San Diego registered the largest First or Second Round U.S. concessions sales numbers in history and were both +20% higher than the previous mark set in the Second Round in San Diego in 2009.

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