Baseball Is Beating The NBA And NHL Playoffs In Local TV Ratings
Wednesday was a playoff bevy for sports fans with playoffs in both the NBA and NHL, and a great baseball game nationally, but in 14 of 24 markets, it was not hockey or basketball or even that Mets-Cubs that people were watching, but Major League Baseball on their local regional sports networks.
In a sign that baseball continues to be a regional phenomenon, from Cincinnati to Seattle, Boston to Tampa Bay, Baltimore to St. Louis, and more, it was regular season baseball games that crushed all comers in their respective markets over the NBA and NHL playoffs, as well as the nationally televised MLB game on ESPN.
Leading the way was FOX Sports Kansas City who drew a blistering 13.0 rating for the Kansas City Royals game against the Texas Rangers. That FOX Sports KC rating compared to a 1.6 rating for the two NBA playoff games in the market, a 0.5 rating for the Mets-Cubs game, and a 0.1 rating in KC for the dramatic Game 7 in the NHL on NBC Sports Network.
Even in Pittsburgh, where hockey has a long, passionate history with the Penguins, the Pittsburgh Pirates game against the Philadelphia Phillies pulled an 8.4 rating on ROOT Sports compared to a 2.5 for the Caps-Rangers Game 7 a 0.7 for the early NBA playoff game, a 0.9 for the NBA playoff game nightcap, and a 0.4 rating for ESPN’s airing of the Mets-Cubs game.
Even in Cleveland, where baseball has not been kind to fans early in the season, ratings on the local RSN won the day. The Cleveland Indians drew a 4.7 rating on FOX Sports SportsTime Ohio compared to a 4.5/4.1 for the NBA playoffs, a 0.2 for the Mets-Cubs on ESPN, and a 0.1 rating for the NHL Game 7 on NBCSN.
Remember, baseball isn’t dying. It’s simply becoming more of a regional draw