On Tuesday night, the New York Yankees played a pretty unspectacular baseball game. It was August 1, well before the September playoff stretch run. The opponent was the Detroit Tigers, a sub-.500 fourth-place team. The starting pitchers were the past-prime CC Sabathia and the forever-uninspiring Anibal Sanchez. In just about every sense, it was just another game in a 162-game season. The Yankees wound up losing 4-3.
And yet, according to the Times Union, the game drew a 5.01 average TV household rating in New York, YES Network’s best number since April 25, 2014, Derek Jeter’s final game at Yankee Stadium. The reason for that seems to be pretty simple: Yankee fans are super stoked that their team is good again.
Entering Tuesday, the Yankees were in first place in the American League East. They had won seven of their last eight games and nine of their past 11. Their roster is suddenly loaded with young stars like Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez, Luis Severino and Clint Frazier. And a day earlier they had added Sonny Gray in the biggest move of the MLB Trade Deadline, signaling that they’re serious about contending for a title in 2017. All around, there is a lot to be excited about in Yankeeland.
Tuesday’s big viewership on YES was just the latest bit of good ratings news for the network. In June, the network reported that its ratings were way up from recent seasons, and a month later Sports Business Daily reported that Yankees ratings had jumped 54 percent from last year, the biggest gain of any team. Per the Times Union, Yankees telecasts on YES averaged a 3.67 household rating in July, the highest over the last five Julys.
Now that YES is back on Comcast, with a good team to broadcast, the good news should keep pouring in. As the Yankees enter what could be an intense pennant battle against the Red Sox, viewership could soon blow away what we saw Tuesday night.