MLB Games Top Primetime in 11 DMAs

Finish Second, Third in Six Other Markets during 2014
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Major League Baseball games ranked among the top three of all programming during primetime in 17 of the 29 DMAs that are home to clubs in the United States during the 2014 regular season.

The games of 11 MLB squads ranked first in primetime in their home markets from the start of the season on March 31 through the campaign’s conclusion on Sept. 28, according to Nielsen data.

Moreover, games of six other MLB teams placed either second (two) or third (four) over the aforementioned span.

Regional sports networks were the primary homes for the teams’ contests, with the group presenting an average of 148 MLB games per season, most from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m., when TV viewing is at its greatest.

The games leading their way primetime during the 2014 season in their respective DMAs were: Detroit Tigers (FS Detroit); Pittsburgh Pirates (Root Sports Pittsburgh); St. Louis Cardinals (FS Midwest); Kansas City Royals (FS Kansas City); Cleveland Indians (SportsTime Ohio); Baltimore Orioles (MASN); Milwaukee Brewers (FS Wisconsin); Seattle Mariners (Root Sports); San Francisco Giants (CSN Bay Area); Boston Red Sox (NESN); and Arizona Diamondbacks (FS Arizona). (See full list below)

Not surprisingly, six of the teams on the above list made the 2014 postseason – Tigers, Pirates, Cards, Royals, O’s and Giants. For their part, the Brewers, Indians and Mariners were in the playoff hunt deep into the season. Only the Red Sox and Diamondbacks were out of contention early.

Cincinnati Reds and Tampa Rays games placed second in the respective DMAS, while telecasts involving the Minnesota Twins, New York Yankees, San Diego Padres and Atlanta Braves ranked third.

In the case the Yankees on YES Network, the Bronx Bombers' telecasts topped the MLB lists with a 3.41 rating and 254,000 households. However, those totals were behind WABC and WCBS in the New York DMA.

The games of nine other clubs ranged from fourth through seventh in their markets. CSN Chicago was 11th with its White Sox coverage, compared with a sixth-place finish with the Cubs in the Windy City.

The only two MLB teams in the U.S. outside the top 11 during primetime in their local market were the Astros and Dodgers. Those teams are  televised on RSNs that suffered from limited distribution.  The Toronto Blue Jays play in Canada and are not rated in this country.

2014 MLB GAME RANKINGS IN PRIMETIME

TV Market

Team

RSN

HH Rtg

Households

 Rank

Detroit

Tigers

FOX Sports Detroit

8.58

159,000

1

Pittsburgh

Pirates

ROOT Sports

8.49

100,000

1

St. Louis

Cardinals

FOX Sports Midwest

8.23

103,000

1

Kansas City

Royals

FOX Sports Kansas City

7.15

67,000

1

Cleveland

Indians

SportsTime Ohio

6.68

99,000

1

Baltimore

Orioles

MASN / MASN2

6.25

68,000

1

Milwaukee

Brewers

FOX Sports Wisconsin

5.8

53,000

1

Seattle

Mariners

ROOT Sports

5.71

106,000

1

San Francisco

Giants

CSN Bay Area

4.86

122,000

1

Boston

Red Sox

NESN

4.85

118,000

1

Phoenix

Diamondbacks

FOX Sports Arizona

3.38

63,000

1

Cincinnati

Reds

FOX Sports Ohio

6.2

56,000

2

Tampa

Rays

Sun Sports

4.01

73,000

2

Minneapolis

Twins

FOX Sports North

3.64

64,000

3

New York

Yankees

YES

3.41

254,000

3

San Diego

Padres

FOX Sports San Diego

3.33

36,000

3

Atlanta

Braves

FOX Sports South / SportSouth

3.02

72,000

3

Philadelphia

Phillies

CSN Philadelphia

3.18

94,000

4

Denver

Rockies

ROOT Sports

2.34

37,000

4

Washington D.C.

Nationals

MASN / MASN2

2.52

61,000

5

Los Angeles

Angels

FOX Sports West

1.89

107,000

5

Dallas

Rangers

FOX Sports Southwest

2.32

62,000

6

Chicago

Cubs

CSN Chicago

1.54

54,000

6

San Fran / Oak / San Jose

A’s

CSN California

1.47

37,000

6

New York

Mets

SNY

1.74

130,000

7

Miami

Marlins

FOX Sports Florida

1.72

29,000

7

Chicago

White Sox

CSN Chicago

1.09

39,000

11

Source: Nielsen data, spanning 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. from March 31 through Sept. 28, 2014

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