NLCS Coverage Puts TBS Atop Cable's Primetime
The 2011 National League Championship Series finale scored as the third-most-watched in cable history.
TBS's coverage of the St. Louis Cardinals' 12-6 win over the Milwaukee Brewers on Oct. 16 registered a 3.6 U.S. household rating and some 5.94 million viewers, according to Nielsen data.
With the 3.7 rating and 5.65 million for its Game 5 telecast on Oct. 14, TBS also registered the fourth-most-watched NLCS game in cable history, as both of the 2011 contests trailed the first and fifth battles in the 2009 NLCS won by the Philadelphia Phillies over the Los Angeles.
The series gained momentum with the last four games of the NLCS in primetime seeing 70% growth over the first two games - a 3.4 average versus. a 2.0 mark.
All told, TBS's exclusive NLCS coverage averaged 4.61 million viewers and a 2.9 rating, leading the "very funny" network to the top spot in cable primetime the week of Oct. 10-16. During that span, TBS averaged 3.9 million viewers, including a medium-best 1.7 million adults 25 to 54. TBS was second among persons 18 to 34 (722,000 on average) and 18 to 49 (1.5 million).
On the down side, the NLCS, which matched the smallest market teams since Cincinnati defeated Pittsburgh in 1990, was off significantly from the last two of these matchups aired by TBS.
St. Louis and Milwaukee rank as Nielsen DMAs No. 21 and 34, respectively. Locally, Milwaukee garnered a 24.7 rating, while St. Louis averaged a 31.2 rating, the best local mark for an LCS since Boston produced a 38.2 and Cleveland a 34.0 during their 7-game ALCS on Fox in 2007 (first pitches for all of those games were thrown at 7 p.m. or 8 p.m.)
Gauged against the aforementioned Philly-LA NLCS in 2009, the 2011 affair was down 24% in rating from a 3.8 and 24% in viewership from 6.06 million. Measured versus the 2010 American League Championship Series in which Texas topped the New York Yankees (under the current MLB contract, TBS and Fox alternate the LCS), the recently completed matchup fell 43% from a 5.1 rating and 44% from 8.22 million watchers.
The smarter way to stay on top of the multichannel video marketplace. Sign up below.