via ESPN press release:
World Baseball Classic Off to Hot Start on ESPN
ESPN’s multimedia coverage of the 2009 World Baseball Classic is off to a strong start, with first-round game coverage on ESPN (four telecasts) averaging a 1.3 rating (up 44 percent), 1,300,000 households (up 57 percent) and 1,745,000 viewers (up 88 percent). At this point in 2006, ESPN’s World Baseball Classic games averaged a 0.9 rating, 829,000 households and 930,000 viewers (two telecasts).
Team USA’s Sunday night (March 8) game against Venezuela posted 1,943,000 households and 2,645,000 viewers to become the most-viewed World Baseball Classic telecast ever. The corresponding 2.0 rating matched ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball average rating for 2008. The 2.0 rating was the second highest-rated World Baseball Classic game ever, trailing only a 2.1 rating for a second-round game between Team USA and Mexico in 2006.
The World Baseball Classic has also led to impressive audience growth for ESPN Deportes and ESPN360.com.
- Cuba vs. Australia on Tuesday, March 10, delivered a 3.3 rating to become the network’shighest-rated non-soccer event ever (previously, the Mexico/Venezuela Caribbean World Series game, Feb. 6, 2009, posted a 2.2 rating);
- The six highest-rated non-soccer events on ESPN Deportes are all World Baseball Classic games;
- Tuesday, March 10, was ESPN Deportes’ most-viewed day ever, delivering 71,000 Hispanic household impressions (the previous high was June 29, 2008, the day of the Euro 2008 final, with 63,000 Hispanic household impressions).
- Live World Baseball Classic games are averaging a 1.5 rating, 65,000 households and 89,000 viewers.
- The World Baseball Classic helped drive ESPNdeportes.com to its biggest traffic day ever(Wednesday, March 11), with more than 9.6 million minutes spent and nearly 5.6 million page views.
- USA vs. Canada (Saturday, March 7) was the most-viewed event of the day;
- Fans have watched an average of 41 minutes per stream for World Baseball Classic games.
- There have been 1.9 million views of World Baseball Classic-related video.