Television ratings through Sunday show that viewership for the Division Series on TBS is down 20 percent from the year prior, according to the Sports Business Daily.
TBS averaged a 3.3 cable rating and “4.3 million viewers for 13 MLB Division Series games, down 21.4% and 20.2%, respectively, from a 4.2 cable rating with 5.4 million average viewers for the comparable period in '07, which had 12 games,” according to The Daily.
Sunday's Angels/Red Sox Game Three garnered a 4.5 cable rating with 6.2 million viewers, making it the most watched game of Division Series play up to that date.
The reasons are myriad for the decline. Certainly, the Vice-Presidential debate between Joe Biden and Sarah Palin took a bite out of ratings, but the fact that the Yankees and Mets missed the postseason certainly hasn’t helped either.
Expect ratings to be rather lackluster for the ALCS, as well. With the Rays and Red Sox being an all AL East affair, the capacity for low interest nationally will be in place. Add in the fact that the Cubs bowed out in the first round as well, and ratings are likely to remain a clip lower than last year.
Remember, this year sees the ALCS on TBS and the NLCS on FOX. Both broadcasters flip-flop from last year when TBS got the NLCS and FOX the ALCS.