The Chicago Cubs and New York Yankees, the choice of The New York Times and ESPN Sunday Night Baseball analyst Steve Phillips to meet in the World Series, got off to strong starts for their respective regional sport networks with their 2009 Major League Baseball season openers.
The YES Network, despite the Bronx Bombers and free-agent ace CC Sabathia taking one in the gut from the Baltimore Orioles, scored a 5.84 household rating and 541,000 total viewers in the New York DMA, according to Nielsen Media Research data. The performance made it the highest-rated weekday sports event ever for a New York RSN, according to YES officials, topping the July 4, 2008 Yankees-Boston Red Sox game, which tallied a 5.20 rating for the channel.
YES's telecast peaked at a 7.6 average rating and 679,000 viewers in the 7 p.m. quarter hour.
For its part, Comcast SportsNet Chicago recorded an 8.14 household rating in the Chicago DMA, translating into 284,000 households on average for the NL Central champions' victory over the Houston Astros. The game, which peaked with a 10.4 average and 363,000 households in the 7:45 p.m. quarter hour, marked the Cubs's highest season-opener in Chicago RSN history, topping the 6.84 rating for Fox Sports Net on April 5, 2004 for the franchise's contest against the Cincinnati Reds.
Comcast SportsNet was also the No.1- rated network in the Chicago market last night during the time period of 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. among adults 25 to 54 with a 4.6 rating, according to network officials. It was also first in the Chicago market in the demo among men 25 to 54 from 6 p.m. to 9: 30 p.m., the period that also encompassed Lowe's Cubs Post Game Live.
Over the weekend, the Cubs visit to the new Yankee Stadium helped YES register the highest-ever exhibition game ratings for a New York RSN.