The AL Division Series started Monday on TBS, and viewership has to be considered a disappointment for the doubleheader.
Game 1 of the Astros-A’s series, which started at 1 PM ET, drew 1.422 million viewers. The second game of the doubleheader was Game 1 of the Yankees-Rays series, which drew 2.33 million viewers in primetime.
For context, the Wild Card round averaged 1.609 million viewers across ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, and TBS. Both Yankees-Indians games, airing on ESPN in primetime, drew more viewers than Game 1 of Yankees-Rays. Last year, TBS had the NL playoffs and Fox (and MLB Network) had the AL playoffs. The first two NLDS games on TBS each drew 3.5 million viewers, while Game 1 of Twins-Yankees on MLB Network drew 3.35 million viewers and Game 1 of Rays-Astros drew 1.39 million viewers in the early afternoon slot.
Across the whole MLB Postseason a year ago, only two games drew less than two million viewers: the aforementioned Rays-Astros contest, and Game 3 of the same series, which had 958,000 viewers on MLB Network for a 1 PM Monday start. This year, 12 of the 18 Wild Card games were under two million, and one of the two Division Series games in the books are already under that mark.
The Monday primetime game had a tough task in front of it, with not one, but two NFL games airing head to head. 14.60 million people watched Chiefs-Patriots on CBS, while 8.65 million people watched Packers-Falcons on ESPN. Game 2 of that series also faces a hurdle this evening in the form of Game 4 of the NBA Finals, while Game 3 on Wednesday will go head to head with the VP debate and a potential Game 4 (or whichever game is shifted into primetime in the event of a Yankees sweep) will have to deal with the Bucs-Bears Thursday Night Football game.
[Data via ShowBuzz Daily]