TBS’s coverage of Major League Baseball’s rookie Wild Card round, including the controversial affair won by the St. Louis Cardinals over the Atlanta Braves, drew sold overnight ratings.
The "very funny" network averaged a 3.7 rating for its two Wild Card telecasts on Oct. 5, according to Nielsen overnight data. That was 12% higher than the 3.3 overnight TBS average for all of Division Series coverage in 2011, said Turner Sports offcials.
Measured against the first Division Series game last year, TBS notched a 61% jump from the 2.3 overnight for the opener between Texas and Tampa Bay. The first game of the other American League Division Series -- New York-Detroit and nightcap of TBS’s opening day postseason coverage last year -- was postponed in the second inning by rain.
TBS’s coverage of the St. Louis-Atlanta at 5 p.m. (ET) averaged a 3.3 overnight rating, with the defending World Series champion Cardinals benefiting from a questionable infield fly rule call in the bottom of the eighth that would have otherwise loaded the bases for the Braves with one out. Instead, the batter was called out and the Cardinals escaped with a 6-3. Atlanta's faithful didn't take kindly to the ruling, showering Turner Field with bottles and debri and holding up play for almost 20 minutes.
Starting at 8:30 p.m. on Friday night, the AL Wild Card game that saw the Baltimore Orioles end the Texas Rangers’ two-year reign as the junior circuit champion averaged a 4.1 overnight rating. That made TBS, on an overnight basis, the second-ranked networks in all of television with a 4.4 overnight in primetime, according to network officials.
Locally, the Cardinals-Braves telecast registered a 20.4 metered market rating in St. Louis and a 9.1 rating in Atlanta. The Orioles- Rangers telecast posted a 20.1 metered market rating in Baltimore – the market’s highest local rating for an MLB telecast across any network since the ALCS Game 7 in 2004 between New York and Boston – and a 14.3 rating in Dallas/Ft. Worth.