2011 Division Series Down in Ratings, Viewership

Posted by | October 9, 2011 at 12:07 PM

Despite a strong finish, Turner Sports could not overcome a slow start for coverage of the 2011 Division Series.

TBS and TNT averaged a 2.7 U.S. rating and 4.190 million viewers for coverage of the MLB Division Series (19 games), down 4% in ratings and 6% in viewership from last year (2.8, 4.434M), and down 13% and 12%, respectively, from 2009 (3.1, 4.769M).

Despite the decline, three of this year’s Division Series games — Tigers/Yankees Game 5 (9.720M), Cardinals/Phillies Game 5 (8.389M) and Yankees/Tigers Game 4 (7.012M) — drew more viewers than last year’s top game (TEX/TB G5: 6.410M).

The postseason got off to an extremely slow start, as TBS averaged a mere 1.9 and 3.002 million viewers for the first three days. The final five days of the playoffs averaged a much stronger 3.3 and 5.068 million, but that was not enough to pull even with last year.

Part of the problem was the new postseason schedule. Because the playoffs began on the weekend this year, the first several games had to compete with both college football and the NFL. In addition, there were three different occasions where games overlapped with each other.

For some perspective, TNT averaged a 2.7 U.S. rating and 4.179 million viewers for coverage of the first round of the NBA Playoffs. Keep in mind TNT’s first round telecasts were not exclusive, and the network did not air every first round game.

Ratings/Viewership For 2011 MLB Division Series
* Tigers/Yankees Game 1 began on Friday, September 30, but was suspended in the second inning.

2011 MLB DIVISON SERIES
Date
Time
Game
#
Series
Net
U.S. Rating
Viewers (000)
Fri., 9/30/11 5 PM TB 9, TEX 0
1
TB 1-0 TBS
1.9
2,866
Sat., 10/1/11 2 PM ARI 1, MIL 4
1
MIL 1-0 TBS
1.6
2,436
5 PM STL 6, PHI 11
1
PHI 1-0 TBS
2.4
3,752
7 PM TB 6, TEX 8
2
TIE 1-1 TNT
1.4
2,165
8:30 PM DET 3, NYY 9*
1
NYY 1-0 TBS
2.7
4,200
Sun., 10/2/11 3 PM DET 5, NYY 3
2
TIE 1-1 TNT
1.9
2,937
5 PM ARI 4, MIL 9
2
MIL 2-0 TBS
1.3
2,132
8:30 PM STL 5, PHI 4
2
TIE 1-1 TBS
2.3
3,749
Mon., 10/3/11 5 PM TEX 4, TB 3
3
TEX 2-1 TBS
2.3
3,474
8:30 PM NYY 4, DET 5
3
DET 2-1 TBS
3.9
6,046
Tue., 10/4/11 2 PM TEX 4, TB 3
4
TEX 3-1 TBS
1.7
2,228
5 PM PHI 3, STL 2
3
PHI 2-1 TBS
3.1
4,617
8:30 PM NYY 10, DET 1
4
TIE 2-2 TBS
4.6
7,012
9:30 PM MIL 1, ARI 8
3
MIL 2-1 TNT
1.2
2,107
Wed., 10/5/11 6 PM PHI 3, STL 5
4
TIE 2-2 TBS
3.0
4,507
9:30 PM MIL 6, ARI 10
4
TIE 2-2 TBS
2.5
3,615
Thu., 10/6/11 8 PM DET 3, NYY 2
5
DET 3-2 TBS
6.2
9,720
Fri., 10/7/11 5 PM ARI 2, MIL 3
5
MIL 3-2 TBS
3.0
4,592
8:30 PM STL 1, PHI 0
5
STL 3-2 TBS
5.1
8,389

(This year’s numbers from Turner Sports)

  • bill

    If i avg those viewer #s i get 4,239,000.

    How do they get 4,190,000 ?

    • Anonymous

      For what I know, the average is based upon the number of viewers and the duration of the broadcast

  • JakeFrankie

    Also keep in mind there’s more NBA 1st round playoff games (more teams in the playoffs) and and the series are 7 games each been since 2003. So it’s pretty impressive for the NBA to be at MLB’s level. That’s only the TNT games keep in mind.

    That stat that Paulsen showed last week is not good news for the MLB 2003-2010 MLB playoff ratings thing. It seems every time I read it’s lower rating. Unless it’s Yankees or Red Sox. MLB needs to get there stuff together with this new contract which expires next year I think.

    I do think there should be more teams in the MLB playoffs, Just my opinion. Get more cities into the game. It seems if your local team isn’t in it, People aren’t watching. I know people will disagree with this, But it’s all good we have all our opinions.