TBS concluded its exclusive coverage of the first round of Major League Baseball's postseason with the most-watched National League Division Series game in cable history.
TBS's coverage of the St. Louis Cardinals' 1-0 nail-biting win over the Philadelphia Phillies on Oct. 7 averaged
a 5.1 U.S. household rating and 8.39 million viewers, according to Nielsen data. That made the Cards' upset of the team with the best regular-season record in baseball the top NLDS telecast ever on the medium, according to TBS officials.
The opener of the NLDS Game 5 doubleheader -- Milwaukee's Nyjer Morgan knocked in Carlos Gomez in the bottom of the 10th to give his club a 3-2 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks -- generated a 3.0 U.S. household rating and 4.59 million viewers for TBS, which initiated its coverage at 5 p.m. (ET) on Friday.
With the Oct. 7 doubleheader, TBS averaged 6.07 million viewers and a 3.8 rating. During primetime, the "very funny network" notched 8.12 million viewers and a 5.0 rating for the NLDS duo -- Morgan's heroics unfolded past the 8 p.m. hour, while first pitch for St. Louis-Philadelphia was thrown out at 8:37 p.m.
Not surprisingly, TBS's Nielsens were strong for Friday's games with marks of 26.8 and 28.5 in the St. Louis and Philadelphia DMAs, respectively. In Milwaukee, the DMA rating tallied a 25.5, while Arizona generated a 13.2 mark.
TBS's LDS audience grew throughout the week, as its coverage of the four series from Oct. 3-7 averaged 5.07 million viewers and a 3.3 rating, compared to a 1.9 and just over 3 million from Sept. 30 to Oct. 2.
All told, Turner averaged a 2.7 U.S. rating and 4.19 million viewers for 19 LDS games across TBS and TNT, down 4% and 6%, respectively, from a 2.8 and 4.4 million viewers for 15 telecasts in 2010.
TBS's high-water mark came with its Oct. 6 telecast of the Game 5 decider that saw the Detroit Tigers eliminate the New York Yankees, 3-2. That tight contest connected with a 6.2 rating and 9.72 million, the most ever on cable for a Division Series contest and the best for MLB since Fox scored an 8.9 and 13.7 million viewers for Game 5 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim over the Yankees. Detroit-New York Game 5 was the highest-rated and most-watched telecast on TBS since Game 6 of 2010 ALCS, which delivered a 7.2 U.S. rating and nearly 11.9 million viewers, when Texas defeated New York.
TBS's exclusive coverage of the National League Championship Series between Milwaukee and St. Louis begins with Game 1 on Sunday, Oct. 9 at 4 p.m.
Fox has exclusive coverage of the American League Championship Series pitting the Tigers against the Texas Rangers, which defeated the Tampa Bay Rays in the other ALDS matchup.