Tuesday was Major League Baseball Opening Day for 2014 for most teams, and TV audiences in several markets drove those openers to milestone ratings levels for their respective regional sports networks.
The following ratings information according to Nielsen:
A 12.3 household rating in Baltimore was delivered by the Orioles’ 2-1 victory over the defending world champion Boston Red Sox in a tight game on the Orioles’ cable home, MASN (Mid-Atlantic Sports Network). It was the largest rating ever for an Orioles season opener on MASN.
Despite the L.A. Angels losing 10-3 at home to the Seattle Mariners (with new slugger Robinson Cano) in Anaheim, the game delivered a 2.91 household rating on the Angels’ cable outlet, Fox Sports West, in Los Angeles. It is the most-watched Opening Day in the Angels’ 23-year history on Fox Sports West.
The New York Mets couldn’t hold on to a 5-4 lead in the ninth inning, as they wound up eventually losing at home to the Washington Nationals 9-7. New Yorkers were drawn to their sets for the game, generating a 4.05 household rating on the Mets’ cable home, SNY (SportsNet New York) — the largest Opening Day rating for the network since 2008.
The same game had a 2.1 household rating in the Washington, D.C. market on MASN2 — a 31-percent bump from the Nationals’ last road opener in 2012.
San Francisco Giants’ late-game rally to propel them to a 9-8 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks delivered a 6.0 household rating on Fox Sports Arizona (broadcaster of Diamondbacks baseball) in the Phoenix market — the highest rating for a Diamondbacks home opener since 2004.
St. Louis has historically drawn large audiences for baseball and Mar. 31 was no different for their Cardinals team. Their 1-0 victory over the Reds in Cincinnati drew an impressive 11.1 household rating on Fox Sports Midwest in the St. Louis market. Not only was it the highest-rated Cardinals road opener ever on the regional sports network, it also was the most-watched TV program of the day in St. Louis.
Detroit Tigers’ 9th-inning rally to a 4-3 win over division rival Kansas City Royals generated a 14.9 household rating in Detroit on Fox Sports Detroit (game also simulcast on Fox TV affiliate, WJBK Channel 2). Viewership grew 34 percent from the Tigers’ 2013 season opener and was the second highest-rated Opening Day ever on Fox Sports Detroit.
The Miami Marlins’ 10-1 blowout at home against the Colorado Rockies earned a 1.9 household rating on Fox Sports Florida in Miami, which was an increase of 78 percent over Opening Day of 2013 and was the most-watched Marlins opener since 2011.
Cleveland Indians’ 2-0 win over the Oakland Athletics drew a 7.4 household rating on SportsTime Ohio in the Cleveland/Akron market — up 33 percent from the Indians’ 2013 season average on the cable outlet.
The Tampa Bay Rays opened 2014 with a 9-2 win over A.L. East rival Toronto Blue Jays. The game delivered a 5.7 household rating on Sun Sports in Tampa/St. Pete, up 19 percent from the Rays’ 2013 opener.
And, for their season opener on Tuesday, Apr. 1, the New York Yankees’ 6-2 loss on the road to the Houston Astros drew a 4.53 household rating and 392,000 viewers in the New York market on the YES Network in prime time. This marks a 10 percent increase for the Yankees’ 2013 opener vs. classic rival Boston Red Sox (although the 2013 game aired in the afternoon).
Sources: Nielsen Media Research, Sports Business Daily, YES Network public relations
Douglas Pucci (a.k.a. “Son of the Bronx”) is a frequent contributor to TV Media Insights, hosting the site forum’s many companion games about TV and writing reviews of various shows. A Bronx native, NYU graduate and once-intern for VH1′s “Pop Up Video,” Pucci also went on to design, build and maintain websites for various non-profit organizations in his hometown of New York City.
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