Early in the 2013 season, baseball is doing well on regional networks.
Several regional sports nets, including many not even in first-place team markets, are reporting solid-to-excellent ratings increases from last year’s MLB season. MASN, the network owned by the Washington Nationals and Baltimore Orioles, tops the list currently with a 6.04 household rating for Orioles games compared to last season’s 4.36, and a 2.84 rating for Nationals compared to last year’s 2.06.
Other regional nets reporting strong numbers include Fox Sports Kansas City (Royals) and Fox Sports West (Angels). Surprisingly, several nets with teams in first-place markets such as Boston, Detroit and St. Louis, show ratings either flat or down from last season. Ratings for MLB’s most famous team, the New York Yankees’ YES Network, are down significantly from last year.
Read the full story at Broadcasting & Cable.
Brief Take: The regional networks’ ratings are higher than ESPN’s in each local market because of the more fanatical fan support for their local teams. It’s no surprise, really, but what is surprising is that regional networks are receiving more and more ad dollars from upfront sales each year.