The World Series champion Boston Red Sox regular-season opener versus the Oakland A’s pulled an 8.9 rating in the Boston designated market area (DMA) for NESN, the regional sports network serving most of New England.
NESN officials say the 8.9 rating in the Boston equates to a 30 share between 6 a.m. and 9:45 a.m. local time. The game went into extra innings before the Red Sox prevailed by a 6-5 score in what was something of a rocky homecoming for Red Sox starting pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka.
Because the game was broadcast live from Tokyo, the first pitch was tossed at 6 a.m. ET.
“Our viewers once again have proven to be the most loyal and passionate sports fans in the country,” Joel Feld, NESN’s vice president of programming, said in a statement. “A pre-game show at 5 in the morning is unprecedented, but Red Sox fans have proven time and time again that they will tune-in at anytime of the day.”
NESN’s live coverage began with the 5 a.m. ET broadcast of Olympia Sports presents The Boston Globe Pre-Game Show, which garnered a 1.6 average household rating in the Boston DMA. The network’s post-game show, WB Mason Extra Innings, pulled a 7 rating.
Last season, NESN enjoyed a 12.2 average household rating for the 149 games it broadcast—the best season average ratings in the network’s 24-year history.