Playoff Baseball Ratings Down Across The Board In 2008

Monday, October 06, 2008

When looking at the teams and matchups in this year's Playoffs, I really thought the ratings were going to be pretty good. Well that's definitely not the case and as of Saturday they were down quite a bit. From TV by the Numbers via Sports Media Watch....

Game 1 of each series was down compared to the comparable game last year. The Dodgers/Cubs opener Wednesday evening drew 5.4 million viewers, off 2% from the 5.5 million viewers Angels/Red Sox Game 1 drew in the comparable timeslot in '07.

This year's Red Sox/Angels series drew 4.4 million viewers for Game 1 Wednesday night, down 14% from the 5.1 million viewers the comparable Cubs/Diamondbacks game drew last year.

Brewers/Phillies Game 1 finished with 2.8 million viewers on Wednesday afternoon, off 13% from 3.2 million for Rockies/Phillies last year. Finally, White Sox/Rays Game 1 drew 2.6 million on Thursday afternoon, down 21% from the 3.3 million for the game in the comparable timeslot last year, Rockies/Phillies Game 2.

Viewership for 2008 MLB postseason:
2.8 mil: Brewers/Phillies Game 1 (Wed., 10/1, 3 PM TBS); down 13% from COL/PHI in '07.
5.4 mil: Dodgers/Cubs Game 1 (Wed., 10/1, 6:30 PM TBS); down 2% from LAAofA/BOS in '07.
4.4 mil: Red Sox/Angels Game 1 (Wed., 10/1, 10 PM TBS); down 14% from CHI/ARZ in '07.
2.6 mil: White Sox/Rays Game 1 (Thu., 10/2, 2:30 PM TBS); down 21% from COL/PHI in '07.
Obviously not having the Yankees involved hurts, but I didn't think it would make things this tough. However, the Dodgers-Phillies matchup should bring much higher ratings in the NLCS compared to last year's Rockies-D'Backs Series. There are also two game fours tonight, and I'll be giving you an updated schedule in a few.

Dodgers vs. Cubs Biggest Draw Among Game 1 of Division Series Playoffs (TV By The Numbers)
MLB ratings down (Sports Media Watch)

Posted by Awful Announcing- at 9:15 AM


You know who is gonna have a field day with this, since he's all about ratings. Plus, he loves ripping on TBS; almost to the point where it sounds like Olbermann's nightly flogging of O'Reilly.
That said, despite the presence of Chip Caray and Harold Reynolds(both are just insufferably bad), I prefer TBS' "stripped-down" broadcasts to FOX's and tWWL's overproduced, busy screen, sound effect-laden circuses. Now, if they could just do something about those Frank TV ads...

Bruce said...
Oct 6, 2008, 10:37:00 AM  

It's oretty obvious to me (sayign this tongue-in-cheek):

No Yankees = No Ratings!

GMoney said...
Oct 6, 2008, 10:48:00 AM  

Not to jump on the bandwagon, but I really think (for once in my case) this is a case of the network causing the bad ratings.

I'm a huge baseball fan, but 90% of the time I forgot that TBS had a Sunday game. Even yesterday, I was engrossed enough in football to forget to go back to the White Sox/Rays and Sawx/Angels games. But their presentation has been terrible. I'll take tWWL (sans Miller/Morgan, if possible), why they don't have the Division series is beyond me.

Rob in WI said...
Oct 6, 2008, 12:31:00 PM  

It could have something to do with the fact that, shockingly, some people, such as myself, don't have cable, and thus, can't watch any of the games this round. I'd be interested to see if they go up at all when the NLCS starts.

Bedheaded said...
Oct 6, 2008, 1:34:00 PM  

@rob: ESPN gave up postseason rights in the current TV contract.

Anonymous said...
Oct 6, 2008, 1:58:00 PM  

It's a self-fulfilling prophecy if you ask me. All year the networks show only big market teams, thinking that big markets=big ratings. Then, when those teams fail to go to the playoffs or advance, there's no ratings to be had.

It's simply because nobody knows these smaller market teams because the networks refuse to play them. Even after the all star game, when the Rays showed they weren't just a flash in the pan, they couldn't get on national TV. They are easily this year's biggest baseball story and they couldn't buy their way on in front of a national tv audience.

Instead, we're 'treated' to yet another yankees game, or mets game, or angels game.

Until MLB and the networks wake up and realize there's baseball fans outside of NY, Boston, and LA, the postseason ratings are going to suck when those teams aren't involved.

Anonymous said...
Oct 6, 2008, 4:10:00 PM  

Interesting point about how TV numbers are down, but internet numbers are up -

Anonymous said...
Oct 30, 2008, 3:35:00 PM  

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