The nostalgia of Yankee Stadium’s swan song played with the hearts and eyes of many viewers and their remotes on Sept. 21.
The final Major League Baseball game at “The House That Ruth Built” averaged a 2.4 household rating, 2.36 million homes and 3.08 million viewers, according to Nielsen Media Research data. The Yanks’ 7-3 triumph over the Baltimore Orioles, which featured in-booth visits from Bronx Bombers legends Yogi Berra, Whitey Ford and Reggie Jackson, was the seventh-largest Sunday Night Baseball telecast of the year for ESPN, which averaged a 2.0 rating for 24 contests, versus a 2.2 in 2007 and a 2.0 in 2006. ESPN’s last MLB game telecast of the season easily outpointed the 0.9 for the 2007 finale, Houston-St. Louis.
ESPN2, which simulcast the pre-game ceremony along with the YES Network, also received a big lift, scoring a 1.1 household rating, 1.04 million households and 1.39 million viewers from 7 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. that night.
YES also benefited last Sunday night from a Nielsen perspective with the closing of the “Big Ballpark in the Bronx.” The Sept. 21 pre-game show — including taped features of the greatest Yankees moments, boxing matches, National Football League games and papal visits at the Stadium; interviews with fans, current Yankees Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez, and members of the club’s late 1990s dynasty; and a tribute to Bobby Murcer, the beloved Yankee player and YES announcer, who passed this July — was the network’s highest-rated ever with a 5.27 household rating in the New York DMA from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. It was also the network’s most-watched program of its type with an average of 588,000 viewers. From 8:15 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., YES’s coverage of the tribute to the venerable ballpark averaged 986,000 viewers.
YES's post-game coverage, which extended until nearly 1 a.m., averaged 113,000 households and 142,000 total viewers, peaking at midnight, with 151,000 homes and 195,000 watchers.