The Kansas City Royals put away the Baltimore Orioles in the American League Championship Series to reach their first World Series 1985, ending TBS’s exclusive coverage of the 2014 junior circuit postseason action in the process.
Despite the ALCS sweep by the smallest market pairings ever – KC is Nielsen market No. 31, while the Baltimore DMA ranks 26th -- and similar on-field outcomes during the two AL Division Series, TBS closed the Nielsen books on the 2014 postseason by averaging 4.3 million viewers, its most-viewed MLB playoffs since 2010. According to Nielsen data, TBS’s delivery for its 10-game schedule, including the Wild Card game, was up 3% from the 4.16 million watchers it registered in 2013, when it had all four Division Series and the National League Championship Series under the contract that expired last season.
TBS won the night across cable television six times during the 2014 MLB postseason and delivered growth across all key demos.
However, the numbers figured to have been much higher, as 2014 marked the first time in postseason history all three American League series ended in sweeps. Additionally, approximately only half of TBS’s postseason games aired in primetime compared with two-thirds of the network’s 24 telecasts running in primetime during the 2013 MLB playoffs.
With 4 million tuning in the Royals’ clincher on Wednesday afternoon, the ALCS averaged 5.07 viewers for four game telecasts, up 2% over the network’s six-game NLCS series in 2013 in which the St. Louis Cardinals took out the Los Angeles Dodgers. Game 4 was up 8% from the 3.7 million for Game 5 of the 2013 NLCS in the corresponding Wednesday afternoon window .
TBS’s ALCS primetime pair of games this year averaged 5.96 million viewers and a 3.7 U.S. household rating, up 8% and 6% respectively over TBS’ primetime telecasts in 2013. The network’s two afternoon telecasts during the ALCS averaged 4.14 million total viewers and a 2.6 rating, up 15% and 8% over the network’s afternoon windows in 2013. Last year’s NLCS had four primetime contests and two afternoon affairs.
All told, TBS’s ALCS coverage averaged a 3.2 rating and the network’s overall 2014 MLB postseason telecasts averaged a 2.7 U.S. mark, both even with last year.