October 10, 2012

Missing Broadcast Viewers Not Found Watching Baseball

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Written by: Mitch Metcalf
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Major League Baseball’s revised postseason format can’t be blamed for taking viewers away from the broadcast networks.  On Monday night, October 8, while The Voice posted a 4.8 rating with Adults 18-49, 2 Broke Girls managed a 3.4, and ESPN’s Monday Night Football of course hit a 5.7 rating in prime time, the main baseball playoff game of the day (New York Yankees at Baltimore Orioles at 8:37 on TBS) averaged a paltry 1.4 rating.  Granted, that’s better than The Mob Doctor did but that’s a dubious distinction.

Sunday’s prime time game, also Yankees at Orioles, at 8:31 on TBS scored a similar 1.3 rating versus Sunday Night Football‘s 7.2 rating.

OK, you say — baseball is getting hammered by the #1, sport football.  But look at Friday, October 5, when MLB unveiled its new opening round: two wildcard teams from each league playing a sudden death elimination game — like two Game 7’s on one day.  The prime time game at 8:49 (Baltimore at Texas) averaged a 1.8 rating, while the 5:00 pm contest (St Louis at Atlanta) eked out a 1.2 rating.

Later today, we will see the results from Tuesday night, when there was no NFL and both games featured teams on the brink of elimination.  Chances are the ratings for the prime time game will maybe get a 1.6 or 1.8 rating — somewhere around the rating for last night’s Mindy Project.  If you are a fan of the great sport, that has to make you pretty sad.

About the Author

Mitch Metcalf
MITCH METCALF has been tracking every US film release of over 500 screens (over 2300 movies and counting) since the storied weekend of May 20, 1994, when Maverick and Beverly Hills Cop 3 inspired countless aficionados to devote their lives to the art of cinema. Prior to that, he studied Politics and Economics at Princeton in order to prepare for his dream of working in television. He has been Head of West Coast Research at ABC, then moved to NBC in 2000 and became Head of Scheduling for 11 years.