World Baseball Classic

USA-Japan WBC Title Game Could Be the Most-Watched Baseball Game in History

A historic matchup between baseball giants and the skyrocketing popularity of the World Baseball Classic point to a potential record-setting viewership on Tuesday

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Television executives around the world have to be giddy at the potential viewership for Tuesday’s World Baseball Classic championship game. 

Team USA and Japan will meet in Miami Tuesday night in what is shaping up to be a matchup for the ages, and there’s every reason to believe it has the potential to shatter viewership ratings. 

After winning the first two Classics back in 2006 and 2009, Japan entered this year’s tournament on a mission, going undefeated and outscoring its opponents 38-8 in pool play. The team overcame some close calls in the elimination rounds and now has a chance to reassert itself on the global stage. 

Meanwhile, Team USA bounced back from a rocky start and is now in a good position to defend its 2017 title behind a stacked roster. 

2023 marks the first time in World Baseball Classic history that these two titans will face off in the championship, but they did meet in the most recent semifinals, where the U.S. won 2-1. 

With the historic nature of this matchup and unprecedented popularity of the World Baseball Classic itself, this has all the makings to be the most-watched baseball game of all time.

What is the most-watched baseball game of all time?

There isn’t definitive data on the most-watched baseball game, but we do know the most-watched MLB game, and that pales in comparison to the numbers put up at this year’s World Baseball Classic. 

Game 6 of the 1980 World Series remains the most-watched MLB game. An average of 54.86 viewers tuned in to watch the Philadelphia Phillies beat the Kansas City Royal for the franchise’s first World Series win. 

Fast forward 43 years, and the Japanese put that number to shame. Just in Japan alone -- a country of 125 million -- 62 million viewers tuned in to watch Japan beat rival South Korea in a pool play game. Yes, you read that correctly. Japan singlehandedly dusted the World Series record before the elimination round even began. 

In case that didn’t solidify how mind-boggling those numbers are, the 14-3 win outdid any competition of the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. 

Those loyal fans now face the test of time zones, with the championship game scheduled for 8 a.m. Japan Standard Time. 

How to watch the World Baseball Classic championship game

The championship matchup will air on FOX Sports 1 at 7 p.m. ET. Viewers can also stream the title game on and the FOX Sports app.

How many fans are expected to attend the World Baseball Classic championship game at loanDepot Park in Miami?

The record-setting viewership isn’t limited to those at home. 

This year’s pool play games drew 1,010,999 fans, up 98% from the previous record of 510,056 set in 2017. 

Mexico’s win over Team USA on March 12 drew 47,534 fans to Chase Field in Phoenix, the most of any first-round matchup in WBC history. 

How much are tickets to the World Baseball Classic championship?

The Miami Herald reported on Thursday that there were a small number of championship tickets that came in below $300, but the vast majority of websites started at $300. 

By Tuesday, third-party resale websites like SeatGeek and Stubhub have tickets available for as low as $58, but the World Baseball Classic’s official pool is sold out.

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