The addition of Major League Baseball postseason games has been a boon for MLB Network.
The two Division Series games televised by MLB Network rank as easily the most-viewed telecasts in network history, though the numbers are extremely low compared to typical postseason coverage. Both games topped one million viewers, shattering the previous record of just over half a million for a Pirates/Nationals regular season game in 2010.
In particular, Sunday’s Game 2 of the Athletics/Tigers American League Division Series drew 1.255 million viewers, the largest audience in the history of MLB Network. On Wednesday, Game 3 of the Cardinals/Nationals NLDS drew 1.092 million, the second-largest audience.
Despite the network records, the games attracted some of the smallest audiences in recent memory for the MLB playoffs.
The two games rank as the least-viewed Division Series telecasts on record* since 1996, when Orioles/Indians Game 4 drew 1.057 million on ESPN2. The 1996 game not only took place on a college football Saturday, but also aired directly opposite Yankees/Rangers Game 4 on ESPN.
* Viewership was not available for playoff games on Fox Family in 2001 and ABC Family in 2002.