A move from ESPN to MLB Network contributed to a 50% drop in viewership for the World Baseball Classic final. In other news, the Miami Heat continue to draw big numbers locally, and Kentucky’s loss in the NIT outdrew every “First Four” game ever.
- The Dominican Republic/Puerto Rico World Baseball Classic championship game earned 843,000 viewers on MLB Network, down 50% from the Korea/Japan final on ESPN in 2009 (1.675M). Despite the massive decline, the telecast ranks as the second-most viewed baseball telecast ever on MLB Network outside of the MLB Postseason. The World Baseball Classic accounts for the six most-viewed non-playoff games in MLB Network history. Monday’s title game earned another 236,000 viewers on ESPN Deportes, ranking as the most-viewed baseball game of any kind in network history. (MLB.com, ESPN Media Zone)
- Wednesday’s Heat/Cavaliers NBA regular season game, the 24th consecutive Heat victory, earned an 11.7 rating on Sun Sports in the Miami-Ft. Lauderdale market — the network’s second-highest rating ever for any Heat game (regular season or playoffs). Monday’s Celtics/Heat game (12.2) set the all-time record, and the March 10 Pacers/Heat game (11.1) ranks third. Heat games have averaged a 6.7 rating on Sun Sports this season, including an 8.9 average during the team’s winning streak. (Fox Sports)
- The Robert Morris/Kentucky NIT first round game drew 1.6 million viewers on ESPN Tuesday night, comfortably outdrawing all four of this year’s NCAA Tournament “First Four” games on TruTV. In fact, Kentucky’s upset loss drew more viewers than every “First Four” telecast since the current NCAA Tournament format began in 2011. (Tue. numbers from The Futon Critic)