TBS Connects With MLB Playoff Viewers

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TBS put a few – million viewers – on the board with its inaugural coverage of Major League Baseball’s postseason.

The “very funny” network averaged a 3.6 household rating for its first three Division Series games on Wednesday, translating into 4.54 million viewers, according to live, plus same-day data from Nielsen Media Research.

The 4.54 million average for the three Oct. 3 contests – the Colorado Rockies’ 4-2 win over the Philadelphia Phillies, the Boston Red Sox’s 4-0 triumph over the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and the Arizona Diamondbacks’ 3-1 victory against the Chicago Cubs – topped the three-game average for the opening day of last year’s Division Series action, when two games on ESPN and another on Fox garnered a 4.48 million average, according to MLB officials.

Breaking down the numbers, the Rockies/Phillies game, which started at 3 p.m. (ET) averaged a 2.6 household rating and 3.17 million viewers, up 78% from the1.78 million viewers (1.4 ratings) that watched the first game, Oakland/Minnesota, at 1 p.m. on ESPN a year ago.

The Sox/Angels game in the 6:30 p.m. window recorded a 4.3 rating and 5.46 million viewers, the top telecast on ad-supported cable for the day. That viewership level marked a 115% jump over the 2.54 million viewers (2.0 rating) that watched the second Division Series telecast, St. Louis/San Diego, on ESPN at 4 p.m. in 2006.

The final contest, Dbacks/Cubs, the first pitch of which was thrown at 10:07 p.m., earned 4.0 household rating and 5.19 million viewers. That perfomance lagged the 8.36 million viewers (5.6 national rating}that saw the New York Yankees/Detroit game last season on Fox, whose telecast began at 8 p.m.

In the first of a seven-year deal, TBS has exclusive coverage of all four Division series and one of the League Championship Series, which it will alternate with Fox. The broadcast network, which also has World Series’ rights, will televise the American League Championship Series this year, while TBS airs the National League Championship Series.

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