Fox Sports Detroit reports that since the beginning of the season on March 31, the average household rating for Tigers games is 7.5, which means that 7.5% of all the household with televisions in the Detroit DMA (i.e., TV market) are tuned to the Tigers game.
In prime time, the rating goes up to 8.4, which is 71% higher than WDIV (NBC), in second place with a 4.9.
For a city routinely called “Hockeytown”, that’s pretty amazing, and also pretty great.
Read more here:
Tigers telecasts on FSD dominate summer TV ratings
At some point all things plateau. It’s anybody’s guess as to whether this truism applies to fan interest in the Detroit Tigers at the halfway point of the 2014 season.
According to Crain’s Detroit Business, Fox Sports Detroit reveals that 72 broadcasts into the season, the team is averaging a 7.53 household rating in 2014, versus 9.02 at the same point in 2013, a stunning -17% drop. This, despite the Tigers’ record being better now (1st place, 47-34, +4½ games) than at this time last year (2nd place, 43-38, ½ game behind). Nevertheless, Greg Hammaren, a Detroit media executive, states that the team is still on pace to lead all MLB teams in local TV ratings for at least the third straight year.
Hammaren also states that he is unsure why the ratings have gone down, although he speculates in the story that some of the loss could be attributed to the now three-week-old World Cup, which on the face of it doesn’t seem to pass the smell test, but might be possible in the spirit of “anything is possible”.
My own non-professional speculation, which I admit is coming completely out of my ear and is being offered with my Tiger fan goggles on, is that Michiganders might be getting a wee bit weary of supporting a team they’ve been hearing for years is one of the best in baseball and the leading favorites to win it all, yet who have not brought home even a single World Series title, and who couldn’t even get past an inferior Red Sox team they obviously outplayed in last year’s ALCS. I’m just spitballing here, though …
FWIW, Comerica Park attendance is also down, by -6.2%.
Read more about it here:
Midseason report: Tigers attendance, TV ratings down from 2013
Where Fox is flailing, ESPN apparently is succeeding.
On the major league level, Fox’s Saturday night games slate has so far registered viewer interest level in the range of , but ESPN Sunday Night Baseball is getting a from viewers, averaging a 1.3 household rating, which translates to 2 million total viewers.
Astute readers might note that the Fox number (which you can see by clicking on the “meh” icon above) is actually bigger than the ESPN number, but remember that Fox is a broadcast network with practically 100% penetration and greater ratings expectations based on its heritage and place on the dial, while ESPN is available in only about 87% of households and lives in triple digit land on most systems.
Last Sunday’s game was likely helped by the US-Portugal World Cup soccer (or “fútbol”, if you prefer) match, as the Rangers-Angels drew a 2.9, best number since a Yankees-Red Sox tilt from last August. Or maybe more people watched so they could espy the primo Yu Darvish-Mike Trout matchup. You’re a baseball fan—you decide. We just report.
On the college front, the College World Series final between Vanderbilt and Virginia helped the Worldwide Leader (in more ways than one, apparently) to a viewership number of 2.4 million, best since 2009’s LSU/Texas final. The game was, in fact, the third most-watched baseball game of any kind on ESPN all year, trailing only two games of the major league variety.
Read more here:
ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball Up; Hits Season High Thanks to World Cup
College World Series Final Sees Increases on ESPN (includes nifty six year historical viewership table)