World Baseball Classic ratings up.


The World Baseball Classic may be short on tradition and buzz, but the ratings have been solid for ESPN.

Through four telecasts, ESPN is averaging a 1.1 U.S. rating (1.3 cable) and 1.7 million viewers for its coverage of the World Baseball Classic, 57% and 88% in ratings and viewership from a 0.7 (0.9 cable) and 930,000 viewers through two comparable telecasts in ’06.

The top rating came for Sunday night’s USA/Venezuela tilt, which drew a 1.7 U.S. rating (2.0 cable) and 2.6 million viewers. The 2.6 million viewers is the most ever for a World Baseball Classic telecast, and topped the 2.5 million viewers for a marquee Cavaliers/Celtics game on ESPN two nights earlier.

Team USA’s first game of the World Baseball Classic, a preliminary game against Canada, drew 1.9 million viewers on Saturday afternoon.