We only get to see local ratings in TV press or special Nielsen reports, and it's always interesting to me.
As I write this, the Los Angeles Dodgers are down 3-1 to the Philadelphia Phillies, and they're also way behind in the local baseball playoff ratings (from the NY Times)
[In the] National League Championship Series on TBS. The Los Angeles market peaked with a 10.9 rating for the Dodgers’ Game 1 loss to the Phillies, according to Nielsen Media figures. That game showed substantial growth during the game, with the rating more than doubling to a 14.8 in the late innings from a 7.1 early on. But the Dodgers’ afternoon victory in Game 2 produced a 5.9, and Sunday night’s 11-0 loss generated just a 7.3.
A closer look at Game 3 reveals a well-earned dissatisfaction among hometown Dodgers fans as the debacle unfolded. The game peaked at a 9.6 locally (or 543,000 households) from 8:15 to 8:30 p.m. Eastern — it had barely begun — and as the Phillies took a 6-0 lead in the second inning, the rating tumbled until it finished with a 4.3 (242,000 homes).
One-quarter of all TV homes have been watching the games in Philadelphia. The game-by-game ratings there would please Ben Franklin: Game 1, a 27.7; Game 2, a 22.2; and Game 3, a 29.1.
It’s not easy for a market with 2.95 million TV homes to beat one with nearly twice as many, but that’s what Philadelphia has been doing to Los Angeles.
And the Anaheim Angels are down 2-1 to the New York Yankees, as well as getting beaten in the ratings:
For Game 1, the New York rating of a 17.4 (1.3 million homes) was 83 percent better the 9.1 (or 514,000 homes) in Los Angeles. For the 13-inning Game 2, which started in late afternoon on the West Coast, the Los Angeles market produced a 10.8 (610,000 homes) and New York a 19.3 (1.4 million).
The Yankees’ 4-3 win over the Angels in Game 2 demonstrated that a game that ends after 1 a.m. in the East would not exhaust viewership, at least in the teams’ markets. In the last half-hour of the game, the rating in Los Angeles broke the 15.0 level for the only time in the series, and the game was being seen by 874,000 homes at 10 p.m. Pacific.
At the same time, in New York, the local rating had sagged a little from its height at about 11:15 p.m. Eastern, but was still a 20.3 with 1.5 million households watching.
While the baseball series can always turn around, it's not likely the local ratings numbers will.
Fox looks to have batted .500 tonight. They've got to be rooting for the underdog to even both series to boost the ratings. Anaheim obliged. The Dodgers didn't.