TBS’s postseason baseball coverage propelled the network to its first primetime weekly ratings win of 2008.
The exclusive coverage of 13 American League and National League Divisional playoff series telecasts helped the “very funny” channel average a 3.5 household rating during the week of Sept. 29 though Oct. 5, according to a Disney ABC Cable Networks Group analysis of Nielsen Media Research data. TBS’s push to the top came, despite a 20% viewership decline from the same stage of baseball’s playoff last season.
Fox News Channel, which drew a network record 11.1 million viewers for its live telecast of the Oct. 2 Sarah Palin-Joe Biden vice presidential debate -- the second most-watched show for the week -- finished second among all basic cable networks with a 3.0 household average.
ESPN, which had the most-watched show of the week with its Sept. 29 Baltimore Ravens-Pittsburgh Steelers Monday Night Football telecast that tackled 11.8 million viewers, finished third overall with a 2.3 average.
USA Network and Disney Channel were next tied with a 2.0 rating. CNN (1.7), Cartoon Network and Nick at Nite (tied with a 1.4 rating) and TNT and MSNBC (knotted at a 1.3) rounded out the top 10.
Politics and sports programming dominated the list of top 10 most-watched shows for the week. Programming surrounding the Palin-Biden debate accounted for seven of the week’s top 10 shows, including CNN’s live coverage of the forum (10.7 million viewers), which finished in third place, directly behind FNC’s live debate coverage. Also, post-debate shows such as FNC’s On The Record With Greta (fourth place), CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360 (fifth), FNC’s pre- and post-debate analysis shows (sixth and seventh respectively) and a pre-debate episode of Fox’s The O’Reilly Factor (ninth) also performed well.
TBS claimed the eighth and 10th slots belonged to TBS’s Oct. 5 Game 3 coverage of the Los Angeles Angels-Boston Red Sox series, and its Game 1 coverage of the Los Angeles Dodgers-Chicago Cubs series on Oct. 1, according to Nielsen.