It didn't seem on paper the Steelers' Monday Night Football showdown with the Houston Texans would be all that great of a game, but it turned out to be pretty competitive. The same cannot be said for Game 1 of the World Series, which aired Tuesday.
According to Nielson, the NFL still rules. Pittsburgh's 30-23 victory over the Texans drew an estimated audience of 13.275 million viewers, soundly topping the San Francisco Giants vs. the Kansas City Royals from Tuesday. Game 1 drew an estimated audience of 10.7 million. That's a gap of 20 percent in favor of the NFL.
Usually people will simply blame the size of the market of teams involved. That will draw people immediately to Kansas City, the most under of underdogs in sports right now. It has never been clear why the size of a media market in Kansas City turns off viewers in, say, Miami, but all these numbers really show is the popularity of the NFL in any form.
To draw that point out even more, the Dallas Cowboys' win over defending champion Seattle drew an estimated 30 million viewers. MLB will need probably four games to get to that level.
The NFL rules.