This year’s MLB Postseason was laden with questions. The games, so far, have been spread across four networks, with a fifth (Fox) coming this weekend. However, don’t tell baseball fans that expectations were low, because the games are doing quite well in terms of viewership as the Division Series comes to a close.
Through Sunday’s ALDS games, the Postseason is averaging 3.6 million viewers, up 9% from 2010 and the most-watched Postseason through this point since 2010. Considering there have been games on four different networks (TBS, ESPN, MLB Network, Fox Sports 1) this is quite the accomplishment. Additionally, considering how much MLB on Fox Sports 1 struggled during the regular season, the fact that postseason viewership numbers have been strong has to be a welcome relief for both the league and the network.
On Sunday, the Orioles’ Game 3 clincher over the Tigers drew 3.3 million viewers, a jump of 14% from last year’s comparable game. The game also drew a 20.0 local rating in Baltimore, the most-viewed MLB game in that market since the Orioles’ Game 5 ALDS loss to the Yankees in 2012.
Then, there’s Kansas City. The Royals have become the darling of baseball this October, beating the A’s in a thrilling AL Wild Card game and then shockingly sweeping the Angels in the ALDS. Kansas City’s Game 3 clincher over the Angels on Sunday drew a whopping 4.4 million viewers on TBS, an increase of 29% on a comparable game last year. In Kansas City, the game once again set a new local record with an insane 33.9 local rating. Comparing that to football, the Chiefs drew a 41.3 local rating on Sunday afternoon for a game on broadcast (as opposed to cable) TV.
And now, we await the ratings from Monday. The first two games of the Cardinals-Dodgers series set viewership records for both Fox Sports 1 and MLB Network, can last night’s closely-fought Game 3 come close to matching? Also, could the Nationals-Giants Game 3 that aired on MLB Network come close to matching the 1.8 million viewers that Cardinals-Dodgers drew on the same network this weekend?
It’ll be very interesting to see how the ALCS between the Orioles and Royals fares. The teams have drawn solid ratings so far this Postseason, but on a larger stage, will they deliver?