Despite pulling in over 6 million viewers for Texas' 5-1 win over Tampa Bay in the decisive fifth game of the American League Division Series, TBS sustained a Nielsen decline with its first-round coverage of the 2010 Major League Baseball postseason.
TBS averaged a 2.8 U.S. household rating, 3.28 million households and 4.43 million watchers over 15 LDS contests, according to Nielsen data. That compared unfavorably with a 3.1 rating average (down 10%), 3.58 million households (off 8%) and 4.77 million viewers (7% drop) from LDS action in 2009.
The network noted that the 2009 Division Series included three teams with national followings, the Boston Red Sox, Los Angeles Dodgers and St. Louis Cardinals, versus Texas, Cincinnati and Tampa Bay this go-round.
Moreover, there was a fall-off in DMA size, season to season. The five markets -- Dallas, San Francisco, Atlanta, Tampa, Cincinnati -- that qualified for the Division Series this year that did not make the postseason last in 2009 average 2.0 million TV households, 39% smaller than the 3.3 million TV households for the five markets they replaced -- Los Angeles Dodgers and Angels, Boston, Denver and St. Louis.
For the Oct. 12 fifth game of Tampa-Texas, TBS averaged a 4.1 rating, 4.74 million households and 6.41 million viewers.
The Oct. 11 telecast, in which the Giants defeated the Braves to win the National League series in what was manager Bob by Cox's last game, played before 4.67 million viewers.
The Oct. 11 and Oct. 12 games helped TBS, which will televise the American League Championship Series between the Rangers and defending World Series champion New York Yankees, starting on Oct. 15, narrow its audience gap with the 2009 LDS.
Through Sunday Oct. 10, TBS was sitting on a 13% decline in rating (2.7 vs. 3.1), a 12% decrease in households (3.15 million vs. 3.56 million) and a 10% deficit in viewers (4.27 million vs. 4.73 million).