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Forget the Yankees, Dodgers, Phils and Angels: TBS is the real winner of the division series

Oct 15, 2009, 10:38 AM EDT

Overall, TV ratings were down for the 2009 baseball season, especially late in the year when, outside of Detroit and Minnesota, there wasn’t all that much to play for.  Fortunes have changed in the postseason, however:

The first round of the Major League Baseball playoffs helped TBS to its best one-week ratings in its 33-year history.

The Turner Broadcasting Systems network said it averaged almost 4.8 million viewers for each of the 13 division series playoff games, up 11 percent from last year.

Best ever for TBS?  You mean to tell me that baseball outdrew the 115th showing of “Two Mules for Sister Sara” and that prime time Rock and Roll Express vs. Ivan and Nikita Koloff match in the summer of 1985?  Show me the numbers or else I’m not buying it.

Overall, I think the lesson here is that, whether we care to admit it or not, having five four (oops, somehow forgot Minnesota) of the six playoff teams come from top-5 media markets certainly drives the ratings.  It’s also why FOX will be privately rooting against the Phillies, who are residents of the tiniest media market (a paltry 4th in the nation!) among the remaining teams. 

  1. -z- - Oct 15, 2009 at 11:34 AM

    I prefer to believe it’s because there was no Joe Buck, McCarver, Miller, Morgan, intrusive exploding graphic, endless plugola, mind-numbing blather to contend with.

  2. Dr. Yogi - Oct 15, 2009 at 11:37 AM

    Um, I think you mean 4 of 6 playoff teams come from top-5 markets. The Twins and Rockies come from the 15 and 18th ranked markets.

  3. Ahmet Hamdi - Oct 15, 2009 at 12:32 PM

    Don’t we mean six original play-off teams this year ‘that were broadcast on TBS’? The clarity would help some people start questioning the physics behind the change of eight play-off teams into six teams.

  4. Lionheart! - Oct 15, 2009 at 12:48 PM

    I loved the Rock and Roll Express! Unlike the sad sorry state of wrestling we have today…

  5. SK - Oct 15, 2009 at 12:53 PM

    Well said and I agree 100%!

  6. Lis Slattery - Oct 15, 2009 at 3:26 PM

    Did any markets outside of Chicago happen to notice that the sound levels for the announcers at TBS during Games was so low as to be unintelligible unless truened up so loud, crowd noise in bkgrd was deafening?

  7. bh0673 - Oct 15, 2009 at 3:54 PM

    I noticed that all the sound was lower then normal and that was in the New York Market.

  8. bh0673 - Oct 15, 2009 at 3:56 PM

    You may have hit the nail on the head. THe next round is radio broadcast for sound and TV for picture.

  9. sirsean - Oct 16, 2009 at 3:15 PM

    It’s probably because the Twins were in the playoffs.
    Call them a small market if you want to, but they drew the 5th most TV viewers this year and have a pretty rabid fanbase.

  10. Michael - Oct 16, 2009 at 5:57 PM

    The bigger story is that ESPN dumped all MLB playoff coverage so that they could be the all-football network.
    Those SEC and NFL Monday-night rights aren’t cheap – gotta spend the rest of the week promoting…

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