SBD/September 30, 2011/Media

MLB National TV Partners Up, Flat For Regular Season; Phillies Lead RSN Ratings

MLB regular-season game audiences were a mixed bag among national TV partners in ’11. Fox once again averaged a 1.8 rating and 2.7 million viewers for its Saturday regional coverage, flat in ratings compared to the last two seasons, but slightly up in viewership. The net’s three primetime windows helped buoy the numbers again this year. ESPN averaged a 1.5 U.S. rating and 2.3 million viewers for its 23 exclusive “Sunday Night Baseball” telecasts, up 7% and 5%, respectively, from a 1.4 rating and 2.177 million viewers last year (24 telecasts). The net’s Aug. 7 Yankees-Red Sox telecast was the net’s best MLB audience this season with 4.7 million viewers. Overall, ESPN’s 69 regular-season games, which include non-exclusive Monday and Wednesday night telecasts, averaged 1.45 million viewers, up 4.5% from 1.39 million viewers in ’10 (66 games). Meanwhile, TBS averaged a 0.4 U.S. rating and 556,000 viewers for its fourth season of non-exclusive Sunday afternoon telecasts. Those figures are flat compared to last year. TBS’ top audience was 788,000 viewers for Mariners-Red Sox on July 24. MLB Network's non-exclusive game coverage was up 37% this season through Sept. 25. 

 

FOX MLB SATURDAY REGULAR-SEASON TREND
YEAR
GMS
RATING
VIEWERS (000)
'11
26
1.8
2,744
'10
26
1.8
2,700
'09
26
1.8
2,700
'08
26
2.0
2,900
'07
26
2.3
3,312
'06
18
2.4
3,348
'05
18
2.6
3,606
'04
19
2.7
3,727
'03
18
2.7
3,600
'02
18
2.5
3,445
'01
18
2.6
3,377
MLB REGULAR-SEASON GAMES ON ESPN
YEAR
GAMES
VIEWERS (000)
'11
69
1,449
'10
66
1,386
'09
66
1,607
'08
63
1,693
'07
64
1,775
"SUNDAY NIGHT BASEBALL" ON ESPN
YEAR
GAMES
VIEWERS (000)
'11
23
2,294
'10
24
2,177
'09
23
2,458
'08
24
2,617
'07
23
2,752
TBS SUNDAY MLB TELECASTS TREND (EXCLUDES TIEBREAKERS)
YEAR
TELECASTS
VIEWERS (000)
'11
26
556
'10
26
557
'09
27
614
'08
25
624

YOUR LOCAL SECTION: Phillies games on Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia topped all MLB RSN figures with a 9.12 local rating, marking the team’s ninth straight year of ratings growth on the network. Cardinals’ telecasts on FS Midwest finished second in ’11 with a 9.0 local rating, down from the team’s record-setting numbers last year. Baseball fans in L.A. were not tuning in this season, as the Angels and Dodgers posted the lowest local ratings. The Indians had the biggest percentage increase in ratings from last season, up 108.9% on SportsTime Ohio. The two teams switching local TV partners in the offseason -- the Padres and Astros -- posted the biggest declines, down 41.4% and 40.3%, respectively.

TOP/BOTTOM '11 MLB RSN RATINGS
TEAM RSN
RATING
% +/-
Phillies CSN Philadelphia
9.12
10.5%
Cardinals FS Midwest
9.00
-4.5%
Brewers FS Wisconsin
7.95
59.0%
Nationals MASN/MASN2
1.22
-4.7%
Angels FS West
1.14
-5.8%
Dodgers FS Prime Ticket
1.14
-30.1%
TOP/BOTTOM '11 MLB RSN RATING CHANGE
TEAM RSN
RATING
% +/-
Indians SportsTime Ohio
6.31
108.9%
Brewers FS Wisconsin
7.95
59.0%
Pirates Root Sports Pittsburgh
4.89
49.1%
Rays FS Florida/Sun Sports
3.67
-37.5%
Astros FS Houston
1.51
-40.3%
Padres Cox/SD 4
3.15
-41.4%
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