TBS Sees MLB's Division Series Audience Decline

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Through the first five days of its exclusive coverage of Major League Division Series, TBS's viewership was down some 20% from the same stage of the 2007 postseason.

Over the 13 games televised through Oct. 5, TBS averaged a 3.25 cable household rating and 4.27 million viewers, according to Nielsen Media Research data. Those numbers were off 7% and 20%, respectively, from the 3.5 rating average and 5.35 million watchers TBS averaged for a dozen games at that point of last year’s playoffs, which benefited from the presence of the New York Yankees and their fan base within the nation’s top DMA.

TBS was hurt once again by a sweep against the Chicago Cubs, this time by the Los Angeles, who put an end to their adversary's quest to end its World Series winless streak at 100 years. Moreover, the second game of that series went up against the Oct. 2 Vice Presidential debate between GOP nominee Sarah Palin and Democratic opponent Joe Biden, which drew 69.9 million viewers across 11 networks.

The most-watched game TBS aired through Oct 5 was the 5-hour, 19-minute, 12-inning win by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim over the Boston Red Sox on Sunday night, which averaged a 4.5 rating and 6.2 million viewers.

The network figured to see its averages rise with game four ALDS action on October 6: when the Tampa Bay Rays eliminated the Chicago White Sox and the Bosox clipped the Angels wings.

In 2007, only one Division Series went beyond the three-game minimum: the Cleveland Indians beat the Yankees in four games.

 TBS will air the American League Championship Series between the Rays and the Red Sox on Friday night, while Fox televises the National League Championship Series pitting the Dodgers against the Philadelphia Phillies, starting Thursday night.

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