SBD/July 12, 2011/Media

MLB Ratings Flat Across National TV Partners; Local Ratings Down For 16 Teams

MLB national TV ratings are flat as the league hits the All-Star break. Fox’ Saturday regional MLB windows are averaging a 1.9 rating (3.0 million viewers) through 14 telecasts. The net is seeing gains among males 18-34 (+13%), 18-49 (+10%) and 25-54 (+8%). Fox also saw year-over-year increases for its three primetime windows, averaging a 2.6 rating (4.1 million viewers), up 24%. ESPN’s “Sunday Night Baseball” is flat at a 1.5 U.S. rating (2.4 million viewers) through 14 telecasts. The April 10 Yankees-Red Sox broadcast remains the most-viewed "SNB” telecast this season with a 2.9 rating and 4.7 million viewers. TBS’ non-exclusive Sunday afternoon games are also flat at a 0.4 U.S. rating (598,000 viewers). The May 22 Mets-Yankees telecast remains the net's most-viewed game of the season with 676,000 viewers (Austin Karp, THE DAILY).

MLB MIDSEASON RATINGS
NET
TELECASTS
RATING
% +/-
VIEWERS (000)
% +/-
Fox
14
1.9
0.0%
2,950
4.0%
ESPN*
14
1.5
0.0%
2,362
2.2%
TBS
14
0.4
0.0%
598
1.5%
NOTES: All ratings are U.S. ratings. * = Ratings for ESPN are for "Sunday Night Baseball."
           

YOUR LOCAL NEWS: In this week's SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, John Ourand reports the Dodgers and Mets “have seen two of the biggest drops in MLB’s local TV ratings so far this season." The Mets’ local ratings on SportsNet N.Y. are “down 29 percent from midseason last year,” while the Dodgers’ ratings on FS Prime Ticket are “down 27 percent.” Only the Astros on FS Houston and the Rays on a combination of FS Florida and Sun Sports “have seen steeper local declines.” Sixteen teams in total "have dropped and 13 teams have increased” in local TV ratings at midseason. After topping the league in local ratings last season, the Cardinals remain in the lead this season, “posting a 9.06 average on FS Midwest.” The Phillies also posted gains during the first half of the season, up 29% from last year. Red Sox ratings are up 22% in Boston as the team tries “stopping their three-year ratings slide on NESN” (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 7/11 issue). Meanwhile, FS Southwest averaged a season-high 5.8 local rating in the Dallas-Ft. Worth market for Sunday's A's-Rangers game. The previous high was a 5.7 local rating for the April 3 Red Sox-Rangers game (FSN).

TOP/BOTTOM FIVE TEAMS IN MLB LOCAL RATINGS
TEAM NET
AVG. RATING
% +/-
Cardinals FS Midwest
9.06
7%
Phillies CSN Philadelphia
8.87
29%
Reds FS Ohio
7.82
24%
Red Sox NESN
7.66
22%
Brewers FS Wisconsin
6.90
32%
Astros FS Houston
1.66
-34%
A's CSN California
1.33
8%
Dodgers FS Prime Ticket
1.19
-27%
Nationals MASN/MASN2
1.17
-24%
Angels FS West
1.11
-11%
   
TOP/BOTTOM FIVE TEAMS IN MLB LOCAL RATINGS CHANGE
FROM MIDSEASON LAST YEAR
TEAM NET
AVG. RATING
% +/-
Indians SportsTime Ohio
6.32
80%
Rangers FS Southwest
3.40
35%
Giants CSN Bay Area
4.79
35%
Pirates Root Sports Pittsburgh
4.52
33%
Brewers FS Wisconsin
6.90
32%
Padres Cox/SD4
3.58
-26%
Dodgers FS Prime Ticket
1.19
-27%
Mets SportsNet N.Y.
2.30
-29%
Astros FS Houston
1.66
-34%
Rays Suns Sports/FS Florida
3.46
-37%
       

BIRD IS NOT THE WORD: In Baltimore, David Zurawik writes after "more than 20 years of faithfully following" the Orioles on TV, he "cannot take it any longer." Zurawik: "By and large, it is not the coverage that has driven me from the tube. Technically, MASN does a solid job; it throws a lot of resources at the games anyway. But given the abysmal performance and culture of losing that clearly remains despite Buck Showalter, all the pleasure of following the Orioles night after night is gone." Zurawik writes he finds himself "yelling at the TV when Rick Dempsey or one of the other post-game folks starts pulling punches about how awful this team is." He also found it "pathetic to hear analysts telling me Friday that we should be proud of" Orioles P Kevin Gregg for "throwing in and in and in on" Red Sox DH David Ortiz. Zurawik: "According to MASN, this was a sign of life and determination on the part of the Orioles" (Baltimore SUN, 7/12).

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