That local ratings gap between the Boston Red Sox and everybody else is quite interesting.
MLB HALF-SEASON RATINGS REVIEW
At MLB’s halfway mark, St. Louis again proved its passion for baseball, ranking behind only Boston as the top-rated professional baseball market. While an average of 9.5 percent of Boston households tuned in to Red Sox games so far this season, the Cardinals drew an impressive 7.4 percent of St. Louis homes.
TOP HALF-SEASON MLB MARKET RATINGS
RANK Team 1st Half Rating 1 Boston Red Sox 9.5 2 St. Louis Cardinals 7.4 3 Milwaukee Brewers 7.1 4 Minnesota Twins 6.4 5 Philadelphia Phillies 6.2 6 Detroit Tigers 6.0 7 Seattle Mariners 5.7 8 Chicago Cubs 5.2 9 New York Yankees 4.8 10 Cincinnati Reds 4.5 source: The Nielsen Company 2009
But when looking at percent growth from this time last year, several surprising teams move to the top:
-The Texas Rangers, with one of baseball’s most exciting lineups, are enjoying a 50% increase in viewership in Dallas, the most year-over-year growth for any MLB team.
-The San Francisco Giants lead the NL wildcard thanks to superior pitching, contributing to 27% higher ratings. When Cy Young winner Tim Lincecum takes the mound, their average rating jumps an additional 9%.
-The Kansas City Royals’ ratings are up 23% despite trailing in the AL Central. The Royals’ ratings increase an additional 8% when Sports Illustrated cover boy Zack Greinke starts.
-The league-leading Los Angeles Dodgers showed no ill effects from the absence of Manny Ramirez, both on the field and on TV, where ratings have increased 20%, creating more ratings distance between the Angels, their in-market rivals.
-The Chicago White Sox are up 12% over 2008, and 27% over 2007, as they continue to close the gap on their cross town rival’s rating dominance.
BIGGEST GAIN IN MLB MARKET FIRST HALF RATINGS, 2008 VS. 2009
RANK Team 2009 1st Half Rating % Change vs. 2008 1st Half 1 Texas Rangers 2.7 50% 2 San Francisco Giants 3.3 27% 3 Kansas City Royals 3.7 23% 4 Seattle Mariners 5.7 21% 5 Washington Nationals 0.6 20% 6 Los Angeles Dodgers 2.2 16% 7 Chicago White Sox 2.8 12% 8 Milwaukee Brewers 7.1 11% 9 Pittsburgh Pirates 3.3 10% 10 Atlanta Braves 3.8 9% source: The Nielsen Company 2009
via Nielsen Wire.