Ratings Roundup: Cardinals Oust Red Sox as MLB Local Ratings King

The St. Louis Cardinals averaged a league-best 9.5 local rating over 127 games on FS Midwest this year despite missing the playoffs, according to Sports Business Journal. Ratings dropped only 2% after the All-Star break, when the team began to fade from playoff contention. The Cards have ranked in the top three for local ratings every year since 2000.

The Cards’ ratings victory marks the first time in six years that the Boston Red Sox (on NESN) have not finished atop the ratings chart. Red Sox games on NESN averaged a 5.87 rating, down 38% from 2009 and down 52% from their 2007 World Series year (12.2). Only the Chicago Cubs saw a more sizable ratings decline, with CSN Chicago games down 39%

New York Yankees games on YES Network continued to draw the most total viewers (336,000 households) from the largest U.S. TV market, while Oakland finished dead last in ratings with a 1.16 (actually up 49% from 2009).

Big surprises this year include the Minnesota Twins, which drew the fourth-largest audience (152,000 households) on FS North despite their miniscule TV market, and the Washington Nationals, which saw their ratings (1.44 average) on MASN skyrocket 136% from last.

Game 4 of the Rays-Rangers series posted the lowest rating ever for an MLB postseason game on TBS, which began its playoff coverage in 2006. Sunday’s 1 p.m. ET action drew a 1.5 U.S. rating and 2.219 million viewers on TBS — down 29% in ratings and 24% in viewership from last year. The series has suffered from early time slots, as three of four games have drawn less than a 2.0 rating.