MLB Ratings Roundup: Epic LDS Game 5’s Deliver Record Audiences for TBS, FS1, Sportsnet

A Trio of Game 5’s in the MLB Postseason NLDS produced massive ratings for TBS, Fox Sports 1, and Sportsnet. Here’s a Look at the viewership numbers from the epic Game 5’s.

TBS Notches Second Best NLDS Ever With Mets-Dodgers Game 5
TBS’ exclusive presentation of last night’s decisive National League Division Series Game 5 between the New York Mets and Los Angeles Dodgers averaged 7.4 million total viewers and an 4.5 U.S. HH rating, increases of 21% and 15% over the comparable NLDS Game 5 telecast in 2013, to generate the second most-viewed NLDS game ever airing on the network.  The telecast peaked with an average of 9.7 million total viewers and a 5.7 U.S. HH rating from 11:15-11:30 p.m. ET.

MLB postseasonLocally, the Mets/Dodgers telecast delivered an 18.4 HH rating in New York, the highest rating ever for an LDS game on TBS in the market. It is also the highest rating in New York for a Mets game since the 2006 NLCS Game 7 against the St. Louis Cardinals.  The game earned an 11.0 HH rating in Los Angeles, with the series averaging a 7.8 HH rating for a 24% increase over last year.

The 2015 NLDS on TBS – also featuring the Chicago Cubs vs. Cardinals – collectively averaged 5.4 million total viewers and a 3.3 U.S. HH rating to garner the network’s highest-rated and most-viewed NLDS coverage of all time.  This year’s NLDS is up 52% in total viewers and 50% in U.S. HH rating over last year’s ALDS coverage airing on TBS and 50% among total viewers and 43% in U.S. HH rating when compared with NLDS telecasts airing on the network in 2013.

Overall, the MLB Postseason on TBS is averaging 5.7 million total viewers through 10 telecasts, up 47% over last year and tied with 2007 as the network’s most-viewed postseason coverage to date.  The corresponding 3.5 U.S. HH rating this year is an increase of 46% vs. 2014.  TBS is also garnering double-digit growth across all key demos including a 53% increase in People 18-49.

Additionally, Turner’s TV Everywhere platforms continue to generate significant increases including live streaming of the NLDS up 160% in unique visits, 74% in live streams and 46% in minutes consumed. Social media impressions for the MLB Postseason are up more than 413% collectively across Twitter and Facebook for Bleacher Report’s MLB social accounts when compared with the comparable coverage in 2014.

Fox Sports 1 Reaches New Heights With MLB Postseason
Game 5 of the Houston Astros-Kansas City Royals American League Division Series on Wenesday tallied 5,944,000 viewers on FS1, making it the most-watched telecast in the network’s history, smashing the prior mark set by 2014 NLCS Game 4 between the San Francisco Giants and St. Louis Cardinals (5,092,000) by 17%.  FS1’s top three most-watched programs are now MLB postseason games: 2015 Astros-Royals ALDS Game 5, followed by 2014 NLCS Game 4 and 2014 NLCS Game 5 (4,891,000).  Additional highlights follow:

Building off the momentum of the Blue Jays-Rangers ALDS Game 5, initial tune-in to Astros-Royals was 5,038,000 viewers from 8:00-8:15 PM ET and peaked in the 10:30-10:45 PM ET quarter hour at 6,708,000 viewers. Astros-Royals Game 5 is up +9% in viewership compared to the last primetime ALDS Game 5 which came in 2013 (A’s-Tigers, 5,445,000), with double-digit demo increases: Adults 18-34, +35%, A18-49, +20% and A25-54, +15%.

Astros-Royals Game 5 delivered 146,000 viewers on FOX Deportes, making it the network’s most-watched ALDS game this year.  The game on FS1 and FOX Deportes combined to average 6,090,000 total viewers.

Astros-Royals ALDS Game 5 on FOX Sports GO ranks as the fourth most-viewed game of all time with more than 90,000 unique streamers.

Kansas City led all local markets, posting a 36.3 rating, followed by Houston (15.7), which are FS1 records in each market.  Rounding out the top five are: Austin (5.4), Hartford (5.2) and St. Louis (5.1).

Earlier in the day, Rangers-Blue Jays ALDS Game 5 proved to be the second most-watched weekday afternoon telecast in FS1 history with 3,199,000 viewers.  The only weekday afternoon telecast on FS1 to beat it is 2014 Dodgers-Cardinals NLDS Game 4 (3,267,000 viewers).  Rangers-Blue Jays ALDS Game 5 peaked at 5,796,000 viewers from 7:30-7:45 PM ET.

Rangers-Blue Jays ALDS Game 5 is FOX Sports GO’s most-viewed MLB game and the fourth most-viewed event of all-time on an authenticated basis with more than 119,000 unique streamers.

The top five markets were: Dallas (10.9), Kansas City (5.7), Hartford (3.8), Buffalo (3.2) and Providence (3.2).

The 2015 ALDS on FS1 averaged 2,795,000 viewers, off 10% from the NLDS on FS1 last year (3,120,000). However, because FS1 had two additional games this year, total viewing of the LDS round on FS1 was up +20% (14.2 gross rating points this year versus 11.8 last year). Including both Wild Card games, the 2015 MLB postseason across all networks is averaging 4,048,000 viewers, +17% through the complete Division Series last year (3,449,000).  This is the best postseason-to-date average through Day 7 of the Division Series since 2010 (4,294,000 viewers), which bodes well for the World Series on FOX.

Sportsnet Scores Largest Audience Ever with Blue Jay’s Game 5 Win
Game 5 of the American League Division Series between the Blue Jays and the Texas delivered Sportsnet’s largest audience in network history, with an average audience of 4.85 million viewers tuning into the broadcast. Sportsnet’s previous all-time most-watched program occurred just 48 hours earlier with 4.38 million viewers tuning into Texas/Blue Jays ALDS Game 4 on Monday, Oct. 12. Overall, 11.5 million Canadians watched some part of the game on Sportsnet, as the Blue Jays thrillingly defeated the Rangers, 6-3. Audience levels peaked at 8.1 million viewers at 7:44 p.m. ET in the top of the 9th inning, as pitcher Roberto Osuna struck out Will Venable.

The Texas/Toronto ALDS delivered an average audience of 3.55 million. This marks a 1,087% increase over the 2014 ALDS between Detroit and Baltimore. An average audience of 3.51 million viewers tuned into the one-hour post-game show

More than 16 million Canadians watched some part of the 2015 Toronto/Texas ALDS (46% of the Canadian population). ALDS Games 3 (4.2 million), 4 (4.38 million) and 5 (4.85 million) were the first three broadcasts in Sportsnet history to surpass 4 million viewers

Meanwhile, Houston/Kansas City ALDS Game 5 delivered an average audience of 1.16 million for Sportsnet.

Odds and Ends
ESPN/ABC televised five of the six most-watched games in college football week 6, including the most-watched game of the week – then-No. 10 Oklahoma vs. Texas (noon ET on ABC) which earned an average of 4,992,000 viewers. The 2015 edition of the Red River Rivalry was the most-watched Sooners-Longhorn matchup since 2011 — up 18% from 2014, 6% from 2013 and 12% from 2012 (all three games at noon on ABC). Additionally, this season’s Oklahoma-Texas matchup is up 53% from the same television window in 2014 (Ohio State at Maryland).

On WatchESPN, No. 23 Cal at No. 5 Utah (ESPN at 10:15 p.m.) was the most-streamed game in week 6 with an additional 87,000 average minute impressions to the TV audience and a total of 343,000 unique viewers accounting for 19,654,000 minutes viewed. The matchup was the fourth most-streamed regular season college football game ever on WatchESPN and, now, four of WatchESPN’s five most-streamed regular-season college football games have occurred this season.

On ESPN, the Golden Bears-Utes matchup garnered 2,820,000 viewers – the most-watched 10 p.m. window of the 2015 season across all networks. Additionally, the game was the third most-watched night game of week 6 and up 39% compared to last year’s same window (Utah at UCLA).

Arkansas at No. 8 Alabama (ESPN at 7 p.m.) was the most-watched prime-time game, earning an average of 4,835,000 viewers. The matchup was up 29% from last season’s similar SEC window (LSU at Auburn). ESPN/ABC has televised the most-watched prime-time game each week of the 2015 college football season.

ABC’s Saturday Night Football featuring Miami at No. 12 Florida State averaged 3,502,000 viewers, the second-most watched prime-time college football game of the week

Regionalized action on ABC at 3:30 p.m. (Wisconsin at Nebraska and Georgia Tech at No. 6 Clemson) garnered 3,466,000 viewers, up 3% from last season’s regionalized window (Baylor at Texas and Wake Forest at Florida State).

Throughout all of week 6, college football on WatchESPN was viewed on a total of 1,600,000 unique devices that streamed 136,600,000 million minutes, up 69% and 51%, respectively, over 2014’s week 6…

…Through five weeks of the 2015 NFL regular-season, THE NFL ON CBS is averaging 18.2 million viewers (Persons 2+). This year’s 18.2 million viewers is the highest number of average viewers for the first five weeks of the season for the AFC television package in 29 years. (As far back as CBS records go; 1987) (Futon Critic)…

…A last-second win for the Steelers on MNF pushed ESPN to win the night among networks in households, viewers and key demos, averaging a 7.7 score with 12.182 million viewers, according to Nielsen. In Pittsburgh, the game drew an 11.3 rating on ESPN and a 24.6 on WTAE-ABC, for a combined 35.9 rating in the market. In San Diego, the game delivered an 8.4 rating on ESPN and a 25.5 on KFMB-CBS, for a combined 33.9 rating in the market. (Cynopsis Sports)

…Mexico’s win over the US at the CONCACAF Cup, now ranks as the most-watched men’s soccer match ever on FS1. The contest delivered 1,561,000 viewers to the channel, according to Nielsen figures. Immediately following the battle, FOX Sports Live earned an average of 394,000 viewers, a triple-digit percent increase over the show’s 2014 October average in that same window. (Cynopsis Sports)…

… GARBAGE TIME WITH KATIE NOLAN returned on Wednesday to a record average television audience, as 473,000 tuned in to the episode’s Wednesday night premiere.


Password must contain the following:

A lowercase letter

A capital (uppercase) letter

A number

Minimum 8 characters


The Latest in Sports Video Production & Technology
in Your Inbox for FREE

Daily Email Newsletters Monday - Friday