Through three days of coverage of the NLCS on Fox and the ALCS on TBS, MLB is beaming at the continued ratings success for their postseason.
Game one of the ALCS between the Tigers and Yankees on TBS on Saturday evening drew a 4.2 rating and 6.8 million viewers, topping all sports programming for the day (aided by a weak slate of college football). The game was up 104% over TBS's first game of LCS coverage in 2011, which featured the Cardinals and Brewers in the NLCS. The local ratings in Detroit and New York were also the highest in each market in these playoffs, with Detroit drawing a 25.9 rating and New York drawing a 14.4 rating.
Game one of the NLCS between the Cardinals and Giants on Fox Sunday evening was also up compared to last year, but only 17% over the Rangers-Tigers ALCS matchup. The NLCS game one drew a 4.1 rating and 6.8 million viewers, nearly identical to the rating of the ALCS game on TBS and up over Fox's usual Sunday animation block. However, NBC's Sunday Night Football crushed the game (as expected) by a more than two to one margin.
Game two of the ALCS on TBS, which took place at 4 PM on Sunday, also had an impressive showing, drawing 5.04 million viewers, which was nearly double the amount of viewers for last Sunday's 3:00 PM matchup in the NLDS between the Nationals and Cardinals, which picked up just 2.52 million viewers.
The one disappointment in the LCS so far is the drop in ratings for game two of the NLCS on Fox, which drew only 4.75 million viewers, a drop of over 2 million viewers in comparison to game one. That ratings drop can likely be attributed to the monstrous Monday lineups put on by other networks, including NBC's airing of The Voice, ABC rolling with Dancing With the Stars (along with Monday Night Football on ESPN), and CBS's Monday lineup led by How I Met Your Mother.
At any rate, it's a good start to the LCS for MLB. TBS should be especially excited, because their last week of playoff coverage led to them crushing the competition in overall average viewers for the week at 4.35 million, more than a million more than second ranked Fox News. TBS ranked third two weeks ago behind both ESPN and Fox News with just 1.93 million average viewers, so the playoffs have clearly given them a huge spike overall. Six of TBS's playoff games ranked in the top 12 overall among all cable shows this past week, and the only other sports programs in the top 12 were the two primetime NFL games (Thursday and Monday Night Football) and ESPN's airing of South Carolina vs LSU.