On Friday in Kansas City, the Chiefs' (who finished 2-14 last season and "earned" the top pick in the Draft) preseason opener with the Saints drew a 22.7 local rating on KCTV, a CBS affiliate. The Royals, on a 15-4 run going into Friday's matchup with the Red Sox, drew an 8.9 rating on Fox Sports Kansas City, 255% lower than the Chiefs' rating.
This isn't overly shocking news, considering that the Royals aired on a cable channel while the Chiefs aired locally over broadcast TV, but the sheer gap in the numbers is a little eye-opening towards just how much the NFL wipes the floor with MLB when going head to head in the ratings battle. When you also consider that the Chiefs were awful last year, and might be awful again this year despite a new coach in Andy Reid and a new quarterback in Alex Smith, and the Royals are playing really good baseball and setting ratings records by the day, it's becomes even more apparent about just how many times the NFL has lapped the competition in most markets.
One of those markets is Houston. It's not really fair to compare the Texans to the Astros, since the Texans' preseason opener was on ABC affiliate KTRK and the Astros were on CSN Houston, which is *still* having carriage issues. The football broadcast on Friday even had numerous glitches during the broadcast, yet still drew a 14.6 rating. A rebroadcast on Saturday drew a 3.3. Meanwhile, the Astros and Rangers drew just a 0.3 on CSN Houston, losing out to both Texans broadcasts by an unbelievable amount of households.
Again, it's not the fact this happened that's surprising, it's just how wide the divide is.
[Ratings links via Sports Media Watch]