Ratings Roundup: Yanks-Tigers Game 4 Hits Four-Year High for LDS; Phillies Take Local Ratings Crown

Turner Sports delivered the most most-watched MLB League Division Series game since 2007 on Tuesday, as Game 4 between the New York Yankees and Detroit Tigers garnered 7,012,000 total viewers and a 4.6 U.S. Household rating. The audience was largest for an LDS game since 9,232,000 people tuned into Game 4 of the Yankees-Indians ALDS in 2007.

TBS and TNT exclusively aired all four LDS games on Tuesday with the two networks averaging 4,001,000 million viewers, up 9 % over comparable coverage of Day 5 in 2010. With coverage of TBS’s Yankees-Tigers Game 4 (8:30 PM-12:00 AM ET), and TNT’s Brewers-Diamondbacks Game 3 (9:30 PM-12:45 AM ET), overlapping each other, the aggregate audience on the two networks totaled 9,065,000 total viewers and a 5.7 U.S. HH rating.

The Rangers’ series-clinching Game 4 win over the Rays (TBS, 2:00 PM) delivered 2,228,0000 total viewers and a  1.7  U.S. HH rating, up + 13% (1.5) from last year. Game 3 of the Phillies-Cardinals series (TBS, 5:00 PM) notched 4,617,000  total viewers and a  3.1  U.S. HH rating, up 19% (2.6). Game 3 of the Brewers-Diamondbacks series (TNT, 9:30 PM) delivered 2,107,000 total viewers and a 1.2 U.S. HH rating…

…In other MLB news, the Philadelphia Phillies nabbed the top spot among all MLB teams for RSN ratings as a second-half viewership surge led to a 9.1 rating on Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia. That just edged out the second place St. Louis Cardinals (9.0) on FS Midwest. The Phillies saw their ratings rise by 11%, an amazing ninth consecutive season of ratings growth (up 176% over that period). The average 276,000 homes that watched each Phillies game was second only to the New York Yankees (319,000) this season.

The Indians more than doubled their ratings from last year on SportsTime Ohio (up 109%), while the Padres registered the biggest dropoff (down 41%) as part of an embarrassing showing by Southern California that included the Dodgers and Angles finished dead last among all teams.

Overall, local RSN ratings took a hit, with 17 of 29 teams (59%) showing a lower rating this year compared with last year (not including Toronto Blue Jays). The top five were the Phillies (9.12), Cardinals (9.00), Brewers (7.95), Red Sox (7.80), and Reds (7.44). The bottom five were the Dodgers (1.14), Angles (1.14), Nationals (1.22), A’s (1.24), and Astros (1.51).

In terms of total audience, the Yankees (319K), Phillies (276K), Red Sox (192K), Mets (163K), and Giants (127K) led the way, while the Nationals (29K), A’s (31K), Orioles 31K), Marlins, (32K), Royals (33K), and Astros (33K) pulled up the rear…

…Nationally, Fox reported a 1.8 final rating for its package of Saturday games, flat with the past three years. ESPN’s “Sunday Night Baseball” registered a slight increase, posting a 1.5 U.S. household rating (excluding ESPN2 games) compared with last year’s 1.4 rating. Turner’s ratings were flat, averaging a 0.4 U.S. household rating…

…For the fourth consecutive year, ESPN posted its most-watched fiscal year while tying the mark for the highest-rated fiscal year on record.  The network averaged 1,067,000 viewers (P2+) on a 24-hour basis according to Nielsen, breaking the record set last year (1,048,000).  The network’s total-day rating for the last 12 months of 0.9 tied its best ever (1990, 2010). The ESPN family of six networks (ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNEWS, ESPNU, ESPN Classic and ESPN Deportes) also set a fiscal year record for combined average total-day audience with 1,535,000 viewers.  That edged last year’s record 1,528,000…

…On Sept. 25, the final round of the Tour Championship – the Fed Ex Cup playoff finale – generated a 1.4 average rating, up 40% from 2010, but still well off the pace set in 2009 when a Tiger Woods-Phil Mickelson duel earned a 3.0. In the five years of the playoffs, the FedEx Cup is up 48% in reach (number of different households exposed at least once to a program), 30% in average minutes viewed, and 29% in ratings for third and fourth rounds, compared with events during comparable weeks from 2004 to 2006. The PGA Tour also saw its regular season ratings jump 7% and the average minutes viewed increase by 11%.

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