Ratings are up but other than Boston the wrong teams are winning
I'm not referring to the horror movie aspects of the Yankees/Indians game where they happened to wind up playing on the one day a year that the flying ant larvae hatched and took over Cleveland's Jacob's Field. Although being able to see, in rich detail in crystal clear high definition the bugs all over Yankee relief pitcher Joba Chamberlain's neck was a bit horrifying.
The ratings were up for the first night slightly versus last year -- the 3 game average for the Wednesday games was 4.54m with a 3.6 HH (household) rating -- last years opening 3 games averaged 4.48m viewers.
Thursdays three games, which included the first appearance by the Yankees averaged 4.6 million viewers over the three games but the Yankees/Indians contest scored 6.7 million viewers. The good news is that the average of 4.6 million on Day 2 is up 76% over the day two games last year. Last year though the divisional playoff games were on various, and sometimes hard to find channels. That's the good news.
The bad news is, so far the playoffs aren't shaking out in a way that is going to produce great ratings for the League Championship Series or World Series. A world series between Cleveland and the Arizona Diamondbacks or Colorado Rockies would likely produce record low numbers. Gorman will tell you that all the smaller market teams are leading right now, and it's true. Fortunately for MLB "smaller market" doesn't always equal bad.
While Boston is a smaller market than Los Angeles, there are probably more Red Sox fans in LA than Angels fans. Sometimes it's more about the teams than the markets themselves: a New York vs Boston ALCS would have higher ratings than a New York vs. Angels ALCS.
Even though the ratings news is currently good, unless the Yankees, Phillies and Cubs can turn it around, we appear headed for LCS matchups of Cleveland vs. Boston and Colorado vs. Arizona and a continued trend of lower ratings.