In the latest case of the overnight ratings painting a different picture than the final ratings, Thursday’s playoff game between the Orioles and Yankees was outdrawn head-to-head by NFL action on NFL Network.
Thursday’s Game 4 of the Orioles/Yankees American League Division Series drew 5.155 million viewers on TBS, down 47% from Tigers/Yankees Game 5 on the comparable night last year (9.720M), and down 20% from Rangers/Rays on the comparable night of the 2010 postseason (6.410M).
The game was beaten head-to-head by the Steelers/Titans NFL game on NFL Network (5.651M).
Keep in mind Game 4, which ended in the 13th inning, aired opposite Tigers/Athletics Game 5 on TNT for nearly 2 1/2 hours.
The Tigers/A’s finale drew 2.266 million viewers, actually down 15% from Game 4 of the series the previous night (2.651M), which also aired opposite an Orioles/Yankees game. There was no comparable window last year or in 2010.
Earlier Thursday, Game 4 of the Cardinals/Nationals NLDS drew 3.399 million viewers, up 38% from Giants/Reds Game 4 in the same timeslot the previous day (2.460M). Again, there was no comparable window last year or in 2010.
Leading off TBS’ quintuple-header, Giants/Reds Game 5 scored 2.167 million viewers, up 98% from Cardinals/Nationals Game 4 on MLB Network in the same slot on Wednesday (1.092M). Once again, there was no comparable window either last year or in 2010.
Giants/Reds, owing to the terrible timeslot (10 AM local time in San Francisco), likely ranks as the least-viewed Game 5 of a Division Series in history.
(Thursday’s numbers from TV By the Numbers)