A day after Turner drew a decade-plus high for their Yankees-Mets broadcast, ESPN did the same thing.
According to an ESPN release, the network’s broadcast of Wednesday’s Subway Series game, a 3-2 Mets walkoff win, averaged 2.12 million viewers. Unlike the TBS broadcast of Tuesday’s game, this *was* an exclusive and didn’t air on either YES or SNY. The game on Tuesday drew 912,000 viewers on TBS and another 941,000 on the two New York RSNs.
The audience for the Wednesday game marked ESPN’s best audience for an MLB regular season weekday game (excluding tiebreaker games and Opening Day) since 2007. Yes, that’s a handful of qualifiers, but it’s important to remember how many weekday games ESPN aired over the years under the company’s previous MLB TV contracts. These days, ESPN weekday MLB games have been slashed to just five per season, though all five of those are exclusive broadcasts.
I think the success of both of these games comes down to three factors: both teams are good, there’s a natural and appealing rivalry between them, and the summer TV schedule has mostly been barren this week (with all due respect to Shark Week). With a couple of interesting games, and less competition for eyeballs, more people naturally gravitated to the two compelling Subway Series games. Hey, baseball will take it.