MLB Opening Day Earns Strong Numbers in Several Markets

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Television ratings for Opening Day of the Major League Baseball season hit multi-year highs, or set some sort of record, in several markets Monday.

In particular, the Phillies/Braves opener was a big draw in both Philadelphia and Atlanta Monday night. The game earned an 11.5 rating on Philadelphia MyNetworkTV affiliate WPHL, the Phillies’ highest Opening Day rating since 1996. In Atlanta, the game scored an 8.9 on Fox Sports South — the network’s highest Opening Day rating ever, and the highest rating for any Braves game on an Atlanta RSN since 2000.

Shifting to Detroit, where the Tigers averaged the highest local rating in Major League Baseball last season, the Tigers/Twins opener scored an 11.1 rating on Fox Sports Detroit, a record for a non-simulcast Opening Day game on the RSN. Of course, the caveat there is ‘non-simulcast’ — last year’s opener against the Red Sox, which aired on both FS Detroit and FOX affiliate WJBK, earned a 15.3 rating.

The Nationals and White Sox also set records Monday, though with comparably less impressive numbers. The Nationals’ opener against the Marlins scored a 4.8 on MASN in the Washington (D.C.) market, the team’s highest Opening Day rating ever on the network. The White Sox’ opener against the Royals drew a 3.4 on Comcast SportsNet Chicago, another an Opening Day record.

None of the above teams was able to match the local drawing power of the Cincinnati Reds. The extra-innings Reds/Angels game, the first ever interleague Opening Day match-up, earned a whopping 23.5 rating on Fox Sports Ohio and and CBS affiliate WKRC in Cincinnati — the highest ever for a Reds season opener.

(Numbers from Fox Sports, Phillies.com)

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