Ratings and Viewership Rise For MLB on ESPN

Posted by | May 18, 2011 at 2:49 PM

Through the first seven weeks of the season, ratings and viewership have increased for Major League Baseball on ESPN.

ESPN has averaged a 1.1 U.S. rating and 1.603 million viewers for 22 Major League Baseball telecasts this season, up a tick in ratings and 7% in viewership from the comparable period last year (1.0, 1.502M).

In particular, the network’s seven Sunday Night Baseball telecasts have averaged a 1.8 U.S. rating and 2.886 million viewers, up 6% and 15%, respectively, from last year (1.7, 2.508M).

This past Sunday, ESPN earned a 2.1 U.S. rating and 3.294 million viewers for Yankees/Red Sox, flat in ratings and up 4% in viewership from the rivals’ lone Sunday night meeting last May (2.1, 3.179M). The game aired directly opposite Heat/Bulls Game 1 on TNT, which drew a 6.2 and 11.109 million viewers.

In addition to the increases overall, ratings have risen by double-digits in several male demographics. In particular, ESPN touted a 23% increase among men 18-34 for its overall coverage, and 32% rise in that demographic for Sunday night games.

(Numbers from espnmediazone3.com, TV By the Numbers)

  • JakeFrankie

     No report on The Mavericks-Thunder yet?

    • Paulsen

      Very unlikely we’ll be seeing any overnights for the West Finals, but I’ll hopefully see the final numbers sometime later today or tomorrow.

      • JakeFrankie

        Here’s some local ratings for you -
        Dallas-Fort Worth scored a 18.8 for the Game 1 on ESPN and OKC scored a 25.1. 
        As is the case most NBA playoff series over the year’s, I expect both numbers to raise little by little as the games go on in this series.

  • Anonymous

    Very good news for Baseball which is enjoying a great season on the field! I think TV ratings reflect this fact.
    What about Fox Saturday package? Any report on the first primetime telecast of the season’s final numbers? I read on Sports Business Daily that overnight ratings were a 3.0 which is up from the last primetime telecast, the second one of last season, but down from the first night telecast of last season featuring Yanks-BoSox. If that number is correct I expect a final number in the 2.2/2.4 range, which is a respectable number but not so good as I was expecting, considering the poor competition. It must be said that the matchup between the East-coast rivals has been not so tight during the last third of the game and that the Cubs-Giants game, played in terrible weather conditions, has been shortened.
    Thanx for the great job!

  • Anonymous

    Very good news for Baseball which is enjoying a great season on the field! I think TV ratings reflect this fact.
    What about Fox Saturday package? Any report on the first primetime telecast of the season’s final numbers? I read on Sports Business Daily that overnight ratings were a 3.0 which is up from the last primetime telecast, the second one of last season, but down from the first night telecast of last season featuring Yanks-BoSox. If that number is correct I expect a final number in the 2.2/2.4 range, which is a respectable number but not so good as I was expecting, considering the poor competition. It must be said that the matchup between the East-coast rivals has been not so tight during the last third of the game and that the Cubs-Giants game, played in terrible weather conditions, has been shortened.
    Thanx for the great job!

    • Paulsen

       I’ll hopefully get a chance to post the final numbers for that telecast sometime this week, along with the rest of the FOX MLB telecasts this season.

    • Paulsen

       I’ll hopefully get a chance to post the final numbers for that telecast sometime this week, along with the rest of the FOX MLB telecasts this season.

  • Sports-777

    ESPN finally came to its senses and put Dan Shulman on Sunday Night Baseball and Sean McDonough on Monday Night Baseball. I am starting to have some faith in their announcer decisions for games again. Hopefully they launch Bob Davie and Chris Spielman soon enough.