ESPN and Fox’s weekend MLB broadcast windows started off on a positive note.
Per releases from both companies, Fox’s Saturday MLB and ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball openers were up from the 2022 averages for both packages.
Fox’s two game window, with Giants-Yankees going to most of the country, averaged 2.212 million viewers. That’s up 10% from last year’s full season average for the package.
Saturday's season-opening @MLBONFOX broadcast, featuring a two-game schedule highlighted by the @SFGiants and @Yankees, delivered 2,212,000 viewers; a +10% increase over last year’s season average of 2,007,000 viewers for FOX Saturday baseball telecasts. ⚾️ pic.twitter.com/PEl01LuubO
— FOX Sports PR (@FOXSportsPR) April 4, 2023
In a release, ESPN touted 1.556 million viewers over both ESPN and ESPN2 for Phillies-Rangers on Sunday night. Notably, 245,000 tuned into ESPN2’s KayRod Cast of the game. Given some of the poor audiences last season for that alternate broadcast, ESPN is likely encouraged by the viewership for the debut outing this season.
ESPN also drew a multi-year high for its White Sox-Astros opener on Thursday.
While Sunday Night Baseball was up from the 2022 season average, it was down from last year’s opener. A Red Sox-Yankees game to start the Sunday Night Baseball package averaged 2.478 million between ESPN and ESPN2.
Fox did not air an MLB game until Memorial Day weekend, with the early schedule airing on FS1. The regular season opener on Fox, airing in primetime on May 28th, averaged 1.958 million viewers for a three-game window.