Brooms Aside, TBS Still on Ratings Tear

Despite the fact that three of the four 2009 MLB Division Series have been decided in minimalist fashion, TBS continues to enjoy a strong postseason run.

Through Sunday’s tripleheader, the Turner network is averaging 4.73 million viewers for its 12 playoff matchups, an increase of 10 percent versus the first five days of TBS’ 2008 Division Series coverage (4.28 million).  

TBS has also seen growth in the key demos, bettering its delivery of viewers 18-49 by 7 percent to 2.05 million, while boosting its standing among men 18-49 by 7 percent (1.41 million). The younger demos gained 11 percent, as TBS has averaged 955,000 viewers 18-34 and 643,000 men 18-34.

New York, Anaheim and Los Angeles all swept their respective best-of-five series in three games, leaving the Phillies and Rockies to battle into the new week. Heading into this evening’s Game Four, Philadelphia leads Colorado by a 2-1 margin.

The decisiveness of the first round of play is reminiscent of 2007, the year TBS began airing October baseball. Four of the five series televised by Turner two years ago were decided in straight sets, including the best-of-seven NLCS.

Sunday’s action got off to an early start––12 p.m. on the East Coast and 9 a.m. out west. Boston closer Jonathan Papelbon gave up three runs in the top of the ninth, as the Sox fell 7-6. Game Three delivered a 2.6 national rating, per Nielsen overnights, up 26 percent from last year’s comparable match. The deciding game of that ALDS drew a 14.8 rating in the Boston DMA and a 5.9 rating in the Los Angeles market.

At 7 p.m., Yankees lefty Andy Pettite threw out the first pitch against the 0-2 Twins, setting the table for New York’s 4-1 victory. The three-hour-and-forty-minute contest drew a 5.0 rating, bettering last year’s Rays-White Sox game by 79 percent. The Yankees clinched its first ALCS berth since 2004, in an effort that notched a 16.1 rating in the New York market and a 22.9 rating in the Minneapolis/St. Paul market.
 
TBS closed out the night with Game Three of the Phillies-Rockies set, which drew a 3.1 rating from 10:40 p.m.-2:22 a.m. The Phils took a 2-1 lead over their hosts, delivering a 16.9 rating in the Philadelphia DMA and a 19.6 rating in Denver.

The three games averaged a 3.5 metered-market average, an increase of 9 percent from the prior-year 3.2 rating.