View Master: MLB Rangers Off To Hot Start Ratings-Wise On FS Southwest
The Rangers' television ratings are "off to a phenomenal start," and while the team is off to an MLB-best 13-3 start, the "improvement in television numbers outscores the play on the field," according to Barry Horn of the DALLAS MORNING NEWS. Through 10 games on FS Southwest and one broadcast on KTXA-CBS, the team is averaging a 7.4 local rating in the Dallas-Ft. Worth market. The team’s “Sunday Night Baseball” telecast on ESPN against the White Sox on April 8 averaged an 8.5 local rating, while local coverage on Fox’ Saturday afternoon telecast on April 14 averaged an 8.2 rating. All combined, the team is averaging a 7.5 local rating, which is a 450% increase “over the number of homes watching in 2007.” One of the main reasons for the spike is the "Darvish factor," as P Yu Darvish’s three starts to date have earned 10.7, 8.2 and 8.3 local ratings, respectively. His first start against the Mariners on April 9 earned a 10.7 rating, the "best ever for a Rangers game on Fox Sports Southwest" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 4/21). Meanwhile, in N.Y., David Waldstein notes the postponement of last night's Yankees-Red Sox game now allows Darvish to face Yankees P Hiroki Kuroda "on Tuesday night in a game that could draw unprecedented attention in Japan." The game will be "broadcast live in Japan" at 8:00am local time Wednesday. The matchup will mark the "seventh time two Japanese pitchers have faced each other in the major leagues, but this pairing is considered the biggest" (NYTIMES.com, 4/23).
BLUE JAYS VIEWERSHIP ALSO UP: In Toronto, Bruce Dowbiggin reports Rogers Sportsnet's average audience for Blue Jays games this season is “up 54 per cent over the previous year," and the audience for the April 9 Opening Day game against the Red Sox "shattered Sportsnet’s previous record” by 36%. The “cause of the ratings boost is the promising Jays team that finished well in 2011." Dowbiggin: "Fans starved for a winner, any winner, in Toronto are intrigued by the team which so far looks great against weak sisters but struggles against the American League’s best.” Sports fans “in the rest of the country (many without a dog in the Stanley Cup fight) are giving the team a look.” Dowbiggin notes Rogers Sportsnet “possesses a roster of experienced, opinionated voices” for its Blue Jays telecasts with a group that includes studio analyst Gregg Zaun, game analyst Buck Martinez, play-by-play announcer Pat Tabler and radio analyst Alan Ashby (GLOBE & MAIL, 4/23).