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Three of the Four Most-Watched Games in Tournament History Took Place in 2023

2023 World Baseball Classic Attendance Surpasses 1.3 Million 

          The 2023 World Baseball Classic shattered tournament viewership, attendance and merchandise records as Samurai Japan took home the Gold Medal with one-run wins in both the Semifinal and Final of the tournament.


          The Quarterfinal game between Japan and Italy rated a 48.7 in Japan, making it the most-watched game in World Baseball Classic history. Three of the four most-watched games in tournament history on record took place during this year’s Classic.

  1. 48.7: Japan vs. Italy (2023 Quarterfinals)
  2. 44.4: Japan vs. Korea (2023 First Round)
  3. 43.4: Japan vs. Cuba (2006 World Baseball Classic Final)
  4. 42.5: Japan vs. Mexico (2023 Semifinals)

The rating in Japan for the 2023 Final was not yet available at the time of publication.

Please note that the 2023 Final and Semifinal games started in the 8 a.m. hour on a weekday in Japan.  The numbers represent the average percentage of Households in Japan that watched the game.
          Around the world, the five largest viewership gains in comparison to 2017 were:

  1. Taiwan +151%
  2. Mexico +103%
  3. Canada +44%
  4. Korea +36%
  5. Puerto Rico +11%

These viewership gains are in reference to games featuring each country’s respective national teams.


            The 2023 World Baseball Classc Final on FS1, FOX Deportes and FOX Sports streaming services was the most-watched WBC game ever in the U.S., up +69% from the 2017 Final with a combined audience of 5.2 million viewers. A peak combined average audience of 6.506 million viewers tuned in for the epic conclusion of the tournament which saw Shohei Ohtani strike out his Angels teammate and Team USA Captain Mike Trout to clinch the title.

          The 2023 Semifinals on FS1 and FOX Deportes was the most-watched semifinal round of any World Baseball Classic in the U.S. The two games averaged 2.403 million viewers, an increase of +96% compared to the 2017 Semifinals.


          The 2023 World Baseball Classic final attendance was 1,306,414, the highest in the history of the tournament.  The 2023 total is a +20% increase over the previous record in 2017 of 1,086,720.


          Sales of World Baseball Classic merchandise on and Fanatics set a new tournament record breaking the previous top mark in 2017 by +149%.

          Merchandise sales across the four 2023 World Baseball Classic host venues were the highest in the history of the event and more than +100% higher than in 2017.

            SOCIAL MEDIA

          The average daily engagements per post more than doubled (+102%) during the Semifinal and Final rounds for the World Baseball Classic social media account across InstagramFacebook, and Twitter.

          Shohei Ohtani’s Instagram following increased more than 2.1 million during the tournament, an increase of +89%. Ohtani is the first Major League Baseball player to surpass 4 million followers on Instagram with over 4.5 million followers following the tournament. Ohtani’s post after winning the Semifinal game vs. Mexico generated 2.4 million engagements, the most engaged player post of the World Baseball Classic.

          Randy Arozarena increased his Instagram following by +299%, the greatest growth percentage of any MLB player in the past week. On Twitter, Arozarena saw the most follower growth by percentage during the tournament with a +105% increase.


          Coverage of 2023 World Baseball Classic spanned 163 countries and territories, with 63 different media partners broadcasting the tournament in 13 languages. The partnerships include rights across all media with global distribution of live games and highlights on linear television, streaming services, and audio platforms for all 47 games of the premier international baseball tournament.  Outside the U.S., Japan and Puerto Rico, WBCI worked with IMG, a global leader in sports, events and media, to secure a global network of broadcasters and diversify the 2023 tournament coverage to reach to new fans around the globe. Here is a complete list of 2023 World Baseball Classic media rightsholders.

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