October baseball got off to a strong start on TBS, as the network’s Oct. 7 triple-header averaged 4.93 million total viewers, making it the most watched postseason opener since 2005.
Buoyed by big-market ballclubs, the Turner net’s coverage of Major League Baseball’s American and National League Division Series served up an audience that was 16 percent larger than the year-ago delivery (4.3 million).
Much of the credit should go to the New York Yankees, which returned to the playoffs after last season’s layoff. New York’s 7-2 win over the Minnesota Twins drew 6.61 million viewers between 6 p.m. and 9:51 p.m., per Nielsen, up 23 percent from the Dodgers vs. Cubs NLDS Game 1 in the same timeslot a year ago.
Leading out of Yanks-Twins (9:51 p.m.-1:39 a.m.), the St. Louis Cardinals and Los Angeles Dodgers teamed to deliver 4.97 million viewers, up 12 percent over Game 1 of last season’s ALDS (Red Sox vs. Angels). And the early Phillies-Rockies game drew 2.76 million viewers in the 2:30 p.m.-5:32 p.m. span, flat versus last year’s Brewers vs. Phillies.
Last year was the first since the strike-halted 1994 campaign that the Yankees did not advance to the postseason, a development that arguably had an impact on TBS’ ratings. The network’s first round of games drew 4.3 million viewers, down 25 percent compared with 5.7 million in 2007, the year TBS began hosting MLB playoff action.
The Oct. 8 games averaged a 3.5 metered-market rating, up 21 percent from a 2.9 for the three games played on day two of the ’08 postseason. Game 2 of the 6:19 p.m.-9:23 p.m. Cardinals-Dodgers set delivered a 6.5 rating in L.A. and an 18.3 rating in St. Louis, while the Red Sox-Angels opener delivered an 8.0 rating in L.A. and a 13.2 in Boston.
Early (2:30 p.m.-6:19 p.m.) Phillies vs. Rockies action notched a 15.2 local rating in Philly and a 9.2 in Denver.