TBS Earns 3.0 Fast-National Rating For Both MLB Wild Card Games, Even With Last Year
TBS averaged a 3.0 fast-national rating for both MLB Wild Card telecasts, even with last season's two games, which both aired on a Friday. Last night's Rays-Indians AL Wild Card game had a 3.1 rating and 4.7 million viewers, while Tuesday night's Pirates-Reds NL Wild Card game earned a 3.0 rating and 4.6 million viewers. Fans in Cleveland tuned in for the Indians’ first playoff game since '07. The game drew a 25.2 local rating, the highest since Game 7 of '07 ALCS. The game also earned a 15.5 local rating in Tampa-St. Petersburg, which was the best rating for an MLB game since Game 3 of the '11 ALDS. Last night's game was up 22% from the four-game average of the '11 ALDS (TBS).
CHANNEL HUNTING: In Pittsburgh, Michael Sanserino notes Game 2 of the Pirates-Cardinals Division Series on Friday will air on MLB Network, which "could leave many fans ... without access to the game." MLB Network owns the exclusive rights to the game, and MLB "will not intervene to broaden access to Pirates fans." The net is distributed to 71 million homes nationwide, or 62% of "all television-owning households." TBS, which is broadcasting the other games in the series, is "available in 100 million homes nationwide." Pirates Senior Dir of Communications Brian Warecki said, "This is something that is completely out of control of the club." Sanserino reports the Pirates "will test a big screen on Federal Street outside PNC Park today to see if a projection of the game would work in direct sunlight." Game 1 of the series "will be aired on the big screen tonight." MLB Network aired two postseason games in '12, and they were the "highest-rated" in the net's history. The net also "owns exclusive broadcast rights" for another LDS game set for Monday, though that game has not been identified (PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE, 10/3). In St. Louis, Jeremy Kohler notes a '12 Cardinals-Nationals NLDS Game 3 aired on MLB Network, and only 11.7% of homes in the St. Louis market with TVs "tuned into that game." This came "after the first two games on TBS had ratings greater than 20." The game "didn't even match some regular season viewership levels" (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 10/3).