Cardinals top RSN ratings; overall MLB numbers flat
For the second consecutive season, the St. Louis Cardinals posted Major League Baseball’s highest local average RSN rating, edging out the Cleveland Indians.
The Cardinals’ 6.59 rating, though, is down 10% from last year and a whopping 34% since the team posted a 10.03 rating in 2015.
Overall, MLB’s RSN ratings essentially were flat, dropping just 1%. Fourteen of the league’s 29 U.S.-based clubs posted increases; 15 were down. The Toronto Blue Jays’ viewership numbers were not available.
MLB enjoyed a particularly strong second half of the season, as RSN ratings were down 4% at the All-Star break yet finished the year just 1% down.
One of the best local media stories was in San Diego, where Padres games on FS San Diego increased by a league-high 76%. Thanks largely to the signing of free agent star Manny Machado, the Padres’ 3.76 rating is the team’s highest since 2010. The Philadelphia Phillies, another team that signed a well-known free agent in Bryce Harper, posted their highest local rating since 2012. The Phillies’ 4.06 rating on NBC Sports Philadelphia is up 20% from last season.
The sport’s blue-blood franchises had rough years in terms of ratings, as the Boston Red Sox (down 23%), New York Yankees (down 17%) and Cardinals (down 10%) all posted double digit declines. The Yankees’ dip came despite the team winning the AL East title. — John Ourand