With a decisive Game 5 between the Pirates and the Cardinals, with the winner moving on the meet the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLCS, viewers reached for the clicker to watch.
The complete game by Adam Wainwright that led the Cardinals to a 6-1 win over the Pirates in Game 5 of the NLDS on Wednesday led to the most-watched game of the 2013 Postseason.
TBS’ national telecast of Cardinals-Pirates averaged 6.1 million viewers, up 69 percent over comparable Wednesday coverage in 2012 according to Nielsen. For the seventh time in the last nine nights, TBS topped all cable competition in primetime, leading the second place network by 125 percent in the metered market ratings.
Overall, through 15 Division Series telecasts, TBS has averaged 3.7 million viewers, up 9 percent through the same number of games in 2012.
In St. Louis, Wednesday’s game drew a 33.6 rating, the highest mark for an MLB game there since Game 6 of the 2012 NLCS. By the conclusion of the game, 58 percent of all TVs on in St. Louis were tuned to the game. In Pittsburgh, the game drew a 31.1, second-best ever on record in the market behind only last week’s Wild Card game.
This Postseason has been marked by especially strong starting pitching, as well as an unprecedented number of rookie pitchers. Seven rookies have started Postseason games this year (Gerrit Cole, Sonny Gray, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Danny Salazar, Daniel Straily, Julio Teheran and Michael Wacha), already eclipsing the previous record of six set during last year’s entire Postseason. In addition, there have already been 10 instances of a starting pitcher going at least six innings and allowing no more than one run, two shy of the entire 2012 Postseason.
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. He writes for Baseball Prospectus and is a contributor to Forbes. He is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted here.
Follow Maury Brown on Twitter
Follow The Biz of Baseball on Twitter