They weren’t the highest ratings ever, but given that it was the Washington Nationals and the Pittsburg Pirates on MLB Network, as opposed to ESPN, or FOX, the league-owned network has to be pleased.
The final Nielsen ratings numbers are in, and with that the major league debut game by Stephen Strasburg that aired from 7:00 – 9:30 p.m. ET on Tuesday, averaged 462,000 households with an .84 rating. A Nielsen ratings point accounts for approx. 1,149,000, so the game would translate to an average of 965,160
The game that was called by Bob Costas, Jim Kaat and John Smoltz saw patings peaked in the 7:45-8:00 p.m. ET time period with 648,000 households (1.17 rating), or approx. 1,344,330 viewers.
The Male 18-34 demo rated highest in the 7:45-8:00 p.m. time period, with 230,000 viewers (1.4 rating).
Now, just imagine what the ratings would have been if MLB Network had shown the game in the home markets. The telecast, which saw one of the most anticipated debuts in MLB history, was blacked out in the Nationals’ and Pirates’ home television territories. Those markets were left with regional sports networks to choose from, while MLB Network showed the Padres-Mets game.
For MASN, the game was a massive ratings hit, with the RSN seeing record numbers. The game earning a 7.1 HH rating as more than 165,000 households in the Washington region tuned in to watch Strasburg’s debut. Among the key demographic of adults aged 25-54, the game earned a 4.4 HH rating, also a MASN record.
FOR MORE SEE:
The Strasburg Tracker
Maury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey, as well as a contributor to Forbes SportsMoney blog. He is available for hire or freelance. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.
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