Unsurprisingly, the first Red Sox-Yankees playoff matchup since 2004 worked out very well for TBS. Game 1 of that ALDS was the most-watched LDS Game 1 since 2010, and saw a 59 percent rise over TBS’ coverage of last year’s NLDS Game 1 between Cubs and Nationals. And while the overall MLB Postseason numbers so far for TBS (which also include the Astros’ sweep of the Indians in the other ALDS and the Yankees’ Wild Card Game win over the A’s) didn’t see as much of a rise from 2017 (which had Dodgers-Diamondbacks as well as Cubs-Nationals), they still were up significantly, and were a huge boost over the network’s 2016 ALDS coverage (Rangers-Blue Jays and Indians-Red Sox).
Here’s more from Turner’s release:
With an average of 4,320,000 total viewers through eight game telecasts, based on Nielsen Fast Nationals, TBS’s MLB Postseason coverage is up 40% vs. 2016 – the last time the network televised the American League – and 13% over last year’s coverage (which included an NLDS Game 5 between the Chicago Cubs and Washington Nationals).
…The 2018 MLB Postseason on TBS is garnering double-digit increases across all key demos including 28% growth among People 18-49 vs. the network’s comparable coverage in 2016.
…This year’s ALDS coverage on TBS is up 40% in viewership over 2016, the last time the network televised the ALDS, and 9% over NLDS coverage (including the Cubs/Nationals Game 5 telecast) in 2017.
…Last night’s series-clinching ALDS Game 4 on TBS was the most-viewed LDS Game 4 on the network since 2007, with an average of 7.1 million viewers, and ranked as the top program of the night across all of cable television. The telecast peaked with an average of 8.5 million viewers from 11:15-11:30 p.m. ET.
Obviously, ratings success has more to do with the markets than anything else, and Red Sox-Yankees is a great matchup from that perspective. And it’s way, way better than Rangers-Blue Jays (which includes a Canadian market not tracked by Nielsen), so it’s not shocking that these numbers are way up from 2016.
The NLDS numbers from last year seem much more actually comparable (despite being a different league, market size matters more than whether pitchers bat), but Turner still posted some nice growth there too. And that came despite not having a winner-take-all Game 5 in either series, despite Game 3 of the Red Sox-Yankees clash being a 16-1 blowout, and despite two of the three Astros-Indians games not being close. The key-demo numbers are solid, too, and those help to counter the regular arguments that baseball has no younger fans. We’ll see how the Red Sox-Astros ALCS performs for TBS, but their playoff coverage so far is certainly off to a good start.