According to the Sports Business Journal, the Phillies led all Major League teams in local ratings, finishing with a 9.1 rating on CSN, up 10.5% from last year. In second place? The Cardinals. They carried a 9.0 local rating – in the greatest baseball city in the country, St. Louis – thanks in part to their late-season Wild Card battle with the Braves.[Sports Business Journal]
Still, the Phillies saw their ratings rise by 11 percent, an amazing ninth consecutive season of ratings growth. During that period, Phillies ratings have grown a stunning 176 percent. The average 276,000 homes that watched each Phillies game was second only to the New York Yankees this season.
Keep in mind, the New York market has more than double the households of Philadelphia (7.5 million to 3 million).
Now you know the Phillies are the most popular Major League team (at least locally), but are they the most popular team in the city. Is this a baseball town?
On Sunday, the Eagles-49ers game on FOX received a 27.5 rating in Philadelphia. The Phillies-Cardinals game on TBS? 21.9 (21.4 in St. Louis, where the Cardinals beat the Rams, who had an 18.9 rating).
But there are a few things to consider.
Football usually crushes baseball in ratings. In other cities where both the football and baseball team played on Sunday, the delta was much larger than it was in Philadelphia. In Milwaukee, 44% of households watched the Packers-Broncos game. Only 20% watched the Brewers-Diamondbacks game. In Phoenix, only 5.7% of households watch the Diamondbacks play, but 21.5% watched the Giants-Cardinals football game. There’s also the cable-broadcast thing, which has a slight effect on viewership.
As expected, the Phillies 21.9 rating was the highest local rating among baseball cities on Sunday: [Sports Business Journal]
Tigers-Yankees Game Two earned a 2.3 overnight earlier in the day (Detroit 13.1 local, N.Y. 7.2 local), while D’Backs-Brewers Game Two earned a 1.6 overnight (Milwaukee 5.8 local, Phoenix 5.7 local).
Perhaps Philadelphia is not quite yet a baseball town (see: yet)… but the Phillies are damn popular.