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2007

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National League Wild Card tiebreaker

Division Series

Ratings for TBS' first-round playoff games, despite three of those four series ending in less-than-dramatic sweeps, finished up 18% over 2006's first-round coverage on FOX and ESPN. Since FOX is in about 16 million more TV households than TBS and ESPN also put its coverage in 2006 on local broadcast stations in the TV markets with teams participating in the games — something TBS did not — those first-round TBS ratings countered the cable-TV-will-always-produce-smaller-audiences argument.

  • The opening tripleheader of Division Series games from Wednesday (October 3) generated an average of 4.54 million viewers on TBS, slightly above the 4.48 million from 2006 for two games carried on the comparable day on ESPN and one by Fox[2].

2007 MLB Division Series ratings. coverage area (cable) ratings marked by asterisk (*)

  • Wednesday, October 3
    • 2.6, 3.2 mil viewers: Rockies/Phillies Game 1 (3:00 PM TBS)
    • 3.7, 5.5 mil viewers: Angels/Red Sox Game 1 (6:30 PM TBS)
    • 3.4, 5.1 mil viewers: Cubs/Diamondbacks Game 1 (10:00 PM TBS)
  • Thursday, October 4
    • N/A, 3.3 mil viewers: Rockies/Phillies Game 2 (3:00 PM TBS)
    • 4.5, 6.7 mil viewers: Yankees/Indians Game 1 (6:30 PM TBS)
    • 2.6, 3.7 mil viewers: Cubs/Diamondbacks Game 2 (10:00 PM TBS)
  • Friday, October 5
    • 4.9, 7.6 mil viewers: Yankees/Indians Game 2 (5:00 PM TBS)
    • 4.2, 6.4 mil viewers: Angels/Red Sox Game 2 (8:30 PM TBS)
  • Saturday, October 6
    • 3.0, 4.7 mil viewers: Diamondbacks/Cubs Game 3 (6:00 PM TBS)
    • 2.8, 4.5 mil viewers: Phillies/Rockies Game 3 (9:30 PM TBS)
  • Sunday, October 7
    • 2.8, 4.2 mil viewers: Red Sox/Angels Game 3 (3:00 PM TBS)
    • 5.4, 8.5 mil viewers: Indians/Yankees Game 3 (6:30 PM TBS)
  • Monday, October 8
    • 7.0*, 9.2 mil viewers: Indians/Yankees Game 4 (7:30 PM TBS) Highest rated cable baseball game

National League Championship Series

The first three games of the NLCS[4] averaged a 3.5 household rating and 4.5 million viewers[5]. Those numbers fell short of the 4.4 household average and 5.7 million viewers the network averaged for the 13 games it covered during the four Division series, which included games from the top four media markets – New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and Philadelphia, as well as No. 7 Boston.

TBS' NLCS[6] games averaged 26.4% of TV households in Denver and 13.6% in Phoenix. That's down from 2006's New York Mets-St. Louis Cardinals NLCS, which drew 31.3% in St. Louis and 15.8% in New York, which has more than twice as many households as Phoenix and Denver combined.

The Colorado Rockies-Arizona Diamondbacks games[7] averaged only 4.3 million viewers — fewer than the season average for FOX’s Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? — and many fewer than the 10.5 million from 2006 for the Mets-Cardinals series. Games 2 and 4 of the 2007 NLCS, which started after 10 p.m. Eastern Time, produced viewership of 3.3 million and 3.8 million.

2008

Division Series

TBS' 2008 Division Series coverage propelled the network to its first prime time weekly ratings win of 2008[8]. TBS averaged a 3.5 household rating during the week of September 29 though October 5. TBS claimed the eighth and 10th cable slots via their October 5, Game 3 coverage of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim-Boston Red Sox series, and its Game 1 coverage of the Los Angeles Dodgers-Chicago Cubs series on October 1. Unfortunately for TBS, this also marked a 20% decline[9] from 2007's Division Series marks on TBS.

American League Championship Series

13.4 million[10] tuned into to Game 7 of the 2008 ALCS between the Tampa Bay Rays and Boston Red Sox. According to Nielsen Media Research data, the Sunday, October 19 telecast drew a 7.9 national rating and a 9.2 cable rating. This makes it the highest rated cable broadcast of a baseball game ever, toping ESPN's coverage of a September 2, 1998 contest in which Mark McGwire hit his 61st home run to tie Roger Maris with what was then-Major League Baseball’s home run record.

Lifted by Game 7's total and 8.9 million viewers for Game 6, TBS averaged a 4.6 national rating, 5.4 cable and 7.44 million watchers over the seven games. TBS officials said the 2008 ALCS outperformed the 2007 NLCS by 96% among persons 18 to 34, 83% among adults 18 to 49 and 86% among the 25-to-54 set.

References

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