Indians games crush summer TV ratings

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Attendance may be down, but numbers don’t lie: Indians fans are tuning in. Since the start of the 2014 MLB season, Cleveland Indians telecasts on FOX Sports’ SportsTime Ohio are the highest-rated and most-viewed programming on television in Northeast Ohio. Per STO (by the way of Nielsen), Indians telecasts are averaging an 6.73 household rating and 100,000 households in prime time (7-11 p.m.), 60 percent higher than the No. 2-ranked CBS (4.21) and whatever CSI they have running during the same period.

The Indians also have the 5th highest local TV ratings in all of Major League Baseball, including afternoon games.

The highest rated game of the 2014 season to date is the Tribe’s home opener vs. the Minnesota Twins, which garnered a 14.77 HH in simulcast with WKYC (over 219,000 households). The highest rated non-simulcast game of the season so far is the July 9 game vs. the New York Yankees which went from 7 p.m. to midnight and produced a 10.24 HH average (over 150,000 households). Monday night’s 7-1 win over the Cincinnati Reds became the 2nd highest rated non-simulcast game of the season with a 9.39 HH rating (over 138,000 households).

“Fans are passionate and excited about the Indians, and we’re proud to bring them the most in-depth and high quality coverage each game,” said François McGillicuddy, senior vice president and general manager of SportsTime Ohio and FOX Sports Ohio via press release.

The month of July is the third best month ever for the Indians on STO, the best since August, 2011, boasting a 6.9 HH average (over 102,000 households). In 23 games this July on SportsTime Ohio, the Indians were either No. 1 or No. 2 for the entire day 18 times (78 percent of games) and were No. 1 in 16 of them. Overall, the Indians are averaging 6.3 HH which is 17 percent ahead of last year’s pace.

As of Monday night, the Indians (57-55, fresh off of their fourth victory in a row) sit 2.5 games out of the AL Wild Card.

  • thenoclist

    The seats are comfortable at home, and the hot dogs aren’t luke warm.

  • http://www.zfcomics.com dgriff13

    So, people CARE, they just can’t afford tickets and/or are too busy/lazy to go TO a game.
    Me, I would go more if I weren’t 7 hours away. I do have MLB.tv (some years, just Radio), a good investment. I wait til half-way thru and pay the $50 to upgrade to TV. I wonder how that factors in, if at all, to the ratings. I wonder how Indians fans who watch with MLB.tv fair against the rest of transplanted/traveling fans.

  • https://twitter.com/Steve_Not_Chad Steve_Not_Chad

    So like football, people are choosing to watch their big TV’s and not deal with crowds, parking, and over-priced everything. This is not surprising.

  • Jared in LA

    François McGillicuddy….no way that’s a real name.

  • http://waitingfornextyear.com Craig Lyndall

    Bond villain, maybe.

  • mgbode

    Indians also have the 5th highest local TV ratings in all of Major League Baseball, including afternoon games.

    That is pretty freaking awesome.

  • mgbode

    and, for the same cost of a ballpark hot dog, you can eat steak at home.

  • mgbode

    the only disappointing news above is that somehow September ’13 ratings didn’t rate well compared to July ’14. that baffles my mind despite school, other programming, and the Browns.

  • mgbode

    I don’t think those of us on MLB.tv would rate all that well. While the local market can point directly to %, it is impossible to do for out of market, so we are going to have to go with gross numbers. The local numbers (though strong in rate) would suffer if you go with the number of households rather than % and I would suspect you would see a similar thing happen with MLB.tv out of market viewers.

  • Hopwin

    60 percent higher than the No. 2-ranked CBS (4.21) and whatever CSI they have running during the same period.
    ^^^^^
    Uncannily accurate. CBS must get all of their ratings from old people who died with the TV set on.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    And I can mute Matt Underwood or better yet listen to Tom Hamilton instead!

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Uncannily accurate. CBS must get all of their ratings from old people who died with the TV set on

    This is Jeopardy…

  • Ezzie Goldish

    So in other words, Indians’ fans are interested, but going to the game is too expensive, so they watch on TV.

  • CoopsScoop

    So lower ticket prices, duh doy.

  • BenRM

    Count me as a member of the group that watches a lot of games on TV, but very few in person (I think I’m only at 3 this year).

    It’s not so much the price of the ticket as it is the parking, food, beer, drive home after consuming said beer – the ancillary stuff.

    I can grab a beer out of my fridge or at the bar on the corner instead.

  • Harv 21

    this is the conclusion I’m reaching. I recognize that the price of Tribe games are relatively reasonable compared to other towns, and I know all the good free places to park. But high def and the feeling that the team is sucking up all my $ when I go with 2-3 others more and more often trumps the fun of being there.

    A lot of people also confide they fear downtown now, or they hate parking there, or some combo of those. I don’t get that at all.

  • mgbode

    does the radio line up with the TV broadcast?

  • Harv 21

    and to tear down my own argument: watch how fast LeBron sells out 41 games just across the way, in far worse driving weather.

  • https://twitter.com/Steve_Not_Chad Steve_Not_Chad

    I hate traffic, I mean really hate traffic.

    I love downtown Cleveland though. Hell, we go up to games and usually don’t go to the stadium. We’d rather bar hop.

  • https://twitter.com/Steve_Not_Chad Steve_Not_Chad

    Same with the Browns. We’ve driven up and back in some pretty horrible conditions.

    Baseball is boring to me now (outside of the playoffs), I’d rather be at a bar chewing on the scenery or watching multiple games at once.

  • Harv 21

    but what’s there now isn’t traffic. I work downtown, and a dozen years ago you made sure you knew what nights were game nights or you’d get caught forever going home at the 9th Street gridlock. Barely noticeable traffic difference now.

  • mgbode

    What happens if on one CSI they find a body of an old person with the television on watching a different CSI show?

    http://24.media.tumblr.com/f3ed989ef7948d8223687d19b8553d83/tumblr_mkvpexupfC1rzsdt3o2_500.gif

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    It’s been awhile since I did it but from what I remember there wasn’t much of a delay.

  • BenRM

    CSI: Meta-polis?

  • BenRM

    It is a far easier commitment to going to 8 Browns games. I really think that plays into the decision.

  • woofersus

    I like watching at home, but I also think it’s great to go to the ballpark. If I lived closer I’d get cheaper seats and go a lot more often. However, I live 2hrs. away, which is one of the things I think is part of the issue. The Indians fan base is pretty spread out, and the declining population directly in and around the city isn’t helping.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    I’d rather attend a baseball game then watch it on TV and I’d rather watch football on TV then attend.

  • nj0

    Or just too much of a hassle. People are lazy.

  • nj0

    Do people fear downtown? Has it gotten worse since I left?

  • Ezzie Goldish

    When I went to the game last week (free tickets!), there were tons of people downtown. A lot were even wearing Tribe stuff. They just weren’t going to the game.

  • cmm13

    “declining population directly in and around the city isn’t helping.”

    Downtown is currently at capacity for residency and there are waiting lists for several new buildings under construction.

    There have never been more people living dowtown

  • woofersus

    Downtown maybe, but the city’s overall population (Cleveland proper, not the greater metro area) declined by 17.1% from 2000-2010 and 21.5% since 1990 according to census data. Around 100,000 people have moved out of the city since the mid 90’s attendance glory days. The total region has declined by a much smaller percentage, but a similar total number of people.

  • JB

    Not sure why its taken me so long to actually post something here. Or even why THIS post is what provoked me to do it. I have read WFNY for several years and feel like I know a lot of you posters personally. Haha.

    I live in Pittsburgh (Moon Twp specifically)… so I listen to Tom Hamilton nightly. On the off chance I get to actually WATCH the Tribe, the TV is always about 7 seconds ahead of the radio. Pause the DVR and get it timed just right and you can hear Tom calling the game as you watch. Same with listening to Donovan on Sundays. Unless I brave the Squeeler fans in the bars.

  • cmm13

    The areas of the city experiencing the loss in residency were not responsible for filling the stadium during the 90’s.

    The Browns were gone and the Cavs were in the tank. Corporate seat ownership was at an all time high and the team was a serious contender.

    The amazing attendance run of those years was a “perfect storm” scenario in my opinion.

  • woofersus

    I don’t disagree with you there, but I don’t think the population shift has helped. I also think that during the mid-90’s a lot of people from the fringes of their market were going to games, and those rural areas have been much slower to recover from the recession than closer suburbs.

    I know the years and years of sellouts can’t ever return, but I don’t think the disparity between tv ratings and attendance can be explained solely by big screen tv’s. Other cities have those too.