Despite the team’s move away from Bally Sports San Diego last month, viewership for San Diego Padres games hasn’t changed all that much.
Several games into the Padres new arrangement, which features MLB producing and distributing the games locally, the team’s local audience remains mostly unchanged.
Per the Sports Business Journal, Monday’s game with the Cubs averaged 59,996 viewers, a 15% increase on the regular season average on Bally Sports San Diego through late May. Viewership slipped slightly to 57,212 for Tuesday night’s game with the Mariners before dropping to 37,569 for a Wednesday afternoon game with Seattle. The average of 51,352 over those three games (which were all at Petco Park, drawing at least 35,000 for each) is down by a little over a thousand viewers compared to last June’s full month average on Bally Sports San Diego (52,464).
In the days prior to Sunday’s debut, Padres games could be watched for free on MLB.com and the MLB app. They’re now available locally on various providers, including AT&T U-Verse, Cox, DirecTV, Fubo, and Spectrum, as well as blackout-free with a subscription to MLB.TV.
We’re admittedly talking about a very small sample here, but the initial signs are encouraging. Going from a traditional RSN to a more out of the box model comes with plenty of pros and cons, but the signs are encouraging so far. Hopefully, we continue seeing Padres viewership data as the seen goes along, which will give us some more insight into whether or not this plan is actually working or not.