2013 MLB Ratings Wrap-Up, Part I: Fox and ESPN Regular Season Games

Here are the viewership numbers for all 100 games on Fox and ESPN this season. Numbers for games on TBS are not available.

The most watched regular season broadcast of the season was a “Baseball Night in America” broadcast on Fox headlined by the Yankees at the Orioles on June 29, which had 3.5 million viewers. Second place was another Baseball Night in America broadcast on June 1 headlined by Red Sox-Yankees, with 3.3 million viewers. The most-watched broadcast on ESPN was another Yankees-Red Sox game with 3.1 million viewers on August 18, which was also the only ESPN game to earn at least a 1.0 adults 18-49 rating. The most-watched game not involving the Yankees was a Baseball Night in America broadcast headlined by the Angels at the Red Sox with 3.1 million viewers on June 8, and the most-watched game not involving the Yankees or Red Sox was a Baseball Night in America broadcast headlined by Rangers-Cardinals on June 22, also with 3.1 million viewers. Fox’s most-watched window outside of June came on July 13, a Baseball Night in America broadcast headlined by Cardinals-Cubs that attracted just under 3 million viewers.

The most-watched Fox window outside of Baseball Night in America was either their first one on April 6, headlined by Yankees-Tigers, with 2.9 million viewers, or another Yankees-Red Sox game on July 20, which did not have viewers reported but had a better rating (2.0 v. 1.9). The most-watched afternoon window not to involve the Yankees came on August 3 and was headlined by Rangers-Athletics. Yankees-Red Sox made up ESPN’s two most-watched games of the year and three of the top four, with third place going to Cardinals-Braves on July 28. Rounding out the top five on ESPN was Dodgers-Giants on May 5, followed by the season-opening game between the Rangers and Astros on March 31 – which only barely edged Fox’s least watched “Baseball Night in America” window, which came May 25 and was headlined by Cardinals-Dodgers. ESPN’s most-watched broadcast outside of Sunday Night Baseball came on August 26, a game between the Reds and Cardinals that attracted 1.3 million viewers – less than Fox’s least-watched Saturday window, which saw 1.4 million viewers on September 21 for a lineup headlined by Giants-Yankees.

Only two games on ESPN2 attracted over a million viewers, both in April: the Sunday Night Baseball game between the Angels and Rangers opposite the Women’s Final Four (1.8 million viewers) and an opening-day game between the Phillies and Braves (1.0 million viewers). The next most-watched games on ESPN2 were a Sunday Night Baseball game between the Mets and Nationals on September 1 (853,000 viewers, the only Sunday Night Baseball game with under a million viewers); a Red Sox-Yankees game on April 3 (833,000 viewers); two late night opening-week games, Giants-Dodgers on April 3 (708,000 viewers) and Cardinals-Diamondbacks on April 1 (704,000 viewers); and Dodgers-Yankees on June 19 (500,000 viewers).

The least-watched game on an ESPN network was Phillies-Reds April 17 on ESPN2, which attracted 296,000 viewers. The least-watched game on regular ESPN that did not spend a substantial amount of time on ESPN2 was Red Sox-Rays May 15 with 467,000 viewers – still higher than the most-watched game on MLB Network.

ESPN numbers from Son of the Bronx with 18-49 numbers from The Futon Critic and TVbytheNumbers. Fox numbers from Sports Media Watch and SportsBusiness Daily; numbers in gray were not available and are interpolated.

    Vwr (mil) HH 18-49 Time Net

1

Baseball Night in America
(main game: Yankees @ Orioles)

3.53

2.2

 

6/29 7:15 PM

FOX

2

Baseball Night in America
(main game: Red Sox @ Yankees)

3.284

2.2

 

6/1 7:12 PM

FOX

3

Sunday Night Baseball:
Yankees @ Red Sox

3.098

2.1

1.0

8/18 8:00 PM

ESPN

4

Baseball Night in America
(main game: Angels @ Red Sox)

3.097

1.9

 

6/8 7:12 PM

FOX

5

Baseball Night in America
(main game: Rangers @ Cardinals)

3.088

2.0

 

6/22 7:12 PM

FOX

6

Baseball Night in America
(main game: Cardinals @ Cubs)

2.982

1.9

 

7/13 7:12 PM

FOX

 

MLB: Regional coverage
(main game: Yankees @ Red Sox)

2.8

2.0

 

7/20 4:00 PM

FOX

 

MLB: Regional coverage
(main game: Yankees @ Tigers)

2.9

1.9

 

4/6 4:00 PM

FOX

 

Baseball Night in America
(main game: Braves @ Phillies)

2.9

1.9

 

7/6 7:00 PM

FOX

10

Sunday Night Baseball:
Yankees @ Red Sox

2.566

1.7

0.7

7/21 8:00 PM

ESPN

11

Baseball Night in America
(main game: Yankees @ Angels)

2.438

1.6

 

6/15 7:12 PM

FOX

12

MLB: Regional coverage
(main game: Rangers @ Athletics)

2.4

1.6

 

8/3 4:00 PM

FOX

12

MLB: Regional coverage
(main game: Yankees @ Red Sox)

2.4

1.7

 

8/17 4:00 PM

FOX

14

Sunday Night Baseball:
Cardinals @ Braves

2.377

1.5

0.6

7/28 8:00 PM

ESPN

15

Sunday Night Baseball:
Red Sox @ Yankees

2.335

1.6

0.7

6/2 8:46 PM

ESPN

16

Sunday Night Baseball:
Dodgers @ Giants

2.3

1.5

0.6

5/5 8:00 PM

ESPN

17

MLB: Regional coverage
(main game: Red Sox @ Dodgers)

2.3

1.5

 

8/24 4:00 PM

FOX

18

MLB Opening Night:
Rangers @ Astros

2.268

1.4

0.9

3/31 7:50 PM

ESPN

19

Baseball Night in America
(main game: Cardinals @ Dodgers)

2.253

1.5

 

5/25 7:00 PM

FOX

20

Sunday Night Baseball:
Braves @ Tigers

2.133

1.5

0.6

4/28 8:00 PM

ESPN

21

Sunday Night Baseball:
Tigers @ Rangers

2.072

1.4

0.6

5/19 8:00 PM

ESPN

22

Sunday Night Baseball:
Yankees @ Orioles

2.061

1.4

0.6

6/30 8:00 PM

ESPN

23

MLB: Regional coverage
(main game: Red Sox @ Yankees)

2.057

1.5

 

9/7 1:00 PM

FOX

24

MLB: Regional coverage
(main game: Braves @ Tigers)

2

1.5

 

4/27 1:00 PM

FOX

24

MLB: Regional coverage
(main game: Cardinals @ Braves)

2

1.4

 

7/27 3:00 PM

FOX

26

Sunday Night Baseball:
Red Sox @ Angels

1.912

1.3

0.5

7/7 8:00 PM

ESPN

27

MLB: Regional coverage
(main game: Tigers @ Angels)

1.9

1.3

 

4/20 4:00 PM

FOX

27

MLB: Regional coverage
(main game: Orioles @ Angels)

1.9

1.2

 

5/4 4:00 PM

FOX

27

MLB: Regional coverage
(main game: Yankees @ Red Sox)

1.9

1.3

 

9/13 12:30 PM

FOX

30

Sunday Night Baseball:
Red Sox @ Dodgers

1.899

1.3

0.5

8/25 8:00 PM

ESPN

31

Sunday Night Baseball:
Cardinals @ Cubs

1.874

1.2

0.5

7/14 8:00 PM

ESPN

32

Sunday Night Baseball:
Yankees @ Red Sox

1.809

1.2

0.5

9/15 8:00 PM

ESPN

33

Sunday Night Baseball:
Angels @ Rangers

1.782

1.1

0.6

4/6 8:00 PM

ESPN2

34

Sunday Night Baseball:
Rays @ Dodgers

1.727

1.2

0.5

8/11 8:00 PM

ESPN

35

Sunday Night Baseball:
Cardinals @ Reds

1.705

1.1

0.4

6/9 8:00 PM

ESPN

36

MLB: Regional coverage
(main game: Reds @ Phillies)

1.7

1.2

 

5/18 4:00 PM

FOX

37

MLB: Regional coverage
(main game: Rays @ Dodgers)

1.6

1.1

 

8/10 4:00 PM

FOX

37

MLB: Regional coverage
(main game: Pirates @ Reds)

1.6

1.1

 

9/28 1:00 PM

FOX

39

Sunday Night Baseball:
Braves @ Phillies

1.555

1.1

0.4

8/4 8:00 PM

ESPN

40

Sunday Night Baseball:
Cardinals @ Phillies

1.551

1.0

0.4

4/21 8:00 PM

ESPN

41

Sunday Night Baseball:
Giants @ Braves

1.462

0.9

0.4

6/16 8:00 PM

ESPN

42

Sunday Night Baseball:
Angels @ White Sox

1.453

1.0

0.4

5/12 8:00 PM

ESPN

43

MLB: Regional coverage
(main game: Giants @ Yankees)

1.4

1.0

 

9/21 1:00 PM

FOX

44

MLB: Reds @ Cardinals

1.331

0.8

0.5

8/26 7:00 PM

ESPN

45

Sunday Night Baseball:
Dodgers @ Reds

1.275

0.9

0.3

9/8 8:00 PM

ESPN

46

Sunday Night Baseball:
Braves @ Mets

1.213

0.9

0.3

5/26 8:00 PM

ESPN

47

MLB: Dodgers @ Cardinals

1.206

0.9

0.4

8/5 7:00 PM

ESPN

48

MLB: Tigers @ Red Sox

1.116

0.7

0.4

9/4 7:00 PM

ESPN

49

MLB: Red Sox @ Yankees

1.109

0.8

 

4/1 1:00 PM

ESPN

50

Sunday Night Baseball:
Cardinals @ Brewers

1.023

0.7

 

9/22 8:00 PM

ESPN
Sunday Night Baseball:
Rangers @ Cardinals

1.017

0.7

 

6/23 11:00 PM

ESPN
MLB: Red Sox @ Rays

1.011

0.7

0.3

6/10 7:00 PM

ESPN
MLB: Phillies @ Braves

1.01

0.7

 

4/1 7:00 PM

ESPN2
MLB: Braves @ Reds

0.988

0.7

0.3

5/6 7:00 PM

ESPN
MLB: Giants @ Dodgers

0.963

0.7

 

4/1 4:49 PM

ESPN
MLB: Nationals @ Braves

0.939

0.6

 

4/29 7:00 PM

ESPN
MLB: Yankees @ Rangers

0.935

0.7

 

7/22 7:00 PM

ESPN
MLB: Red Sox @ Rays

0.935

0.7

0.3

9/11 7:00 PM

ESPN
Sunday Night Baseball:
Mets @ Nationals

0.853

0.6

0.2

9/1 8:00 PM

ESPN2
MLB: Yankees @ Orioles

0.847

0.6

 

5/20 7:00 PM

ESPN
  MLB: Red Sox @ Yankees

0.833

0.6

0.3

4/3 7:00 PM

ESPN2
  MLB: Angels @ Yankees

0.822

0.6

0.3

8/12 7:00 PM

ESPN
  MLB: Mets @ Cardinals

0.786

0.6

 

5/13 7:00 PM

ESPN
  MLB: Yankees @ Rays

0.769

0.6

 

4/22 7:00 PM

ESPN
  MLB: Dodgers @ Cardinals

0.764

0.6

0.3

8/7 7:00 PM

ESPN
  MLB: Indians @ Yankees

0.736

0.6

0.2

6/3 7:00 PM

ESPN
  MLB: Phillies @ Reds

0.733

0.5

0.3

4/15 7:00 PM

ESPN
  MLB: Rays @ Yankees

0.717

0.5

0.2

9/25 7:00 PM

ESPN
  MLB: Angels @ Rangers

0.712

0.5

0.2

7/29 7:00 PM

ESPN
  MLB: Giants @ Dodgers

0.708

0.4

0.3

4/3 10:46 PM

ESPN2
  MLB: Cardinals @ Diamondbacks

0.704

0.5

 

4/1 10:11 PM

ESPN2
  MLB: Cardinals @ Pirates

0.691

0.5

0.2

7/31 7:00 PM

ESPN
  MLB: Rays @ Red Sox

0.687

0.5

0.2

7/24 7:00 PM

ESPN
  MLB: Pirates @ Cardinals

0.677

0.5

0.2

8/14 7:00 PM

ESPN
  MLB: Cubs @ Cardinals

0.664

0.5

0.2

6/17 9:03 PM

ESPN
  MLB: Giants @ Reds

0.663

0.5

0.2

7/1 7:00 PM

ESPN
  MLB: Yankees @ Mets

0.639

0.5

0.2

5/28 7:00 PM

ESPN
  MLB: Nationals @ Phillies

0.618

0.5

0.2

7/8 7:00 PM

ESPN
  MLB: Yankees @ Orioles

0.614

0.4

0.2

5/22 7:00 PM

ESPN
  MLB: Rangers @ Red Sox

0.605

0.4

0.2

6/5 7:00 PM

ESPN
  MLB: Rangers @ Yankees

0.586

0.4

0.2

6/26 7:00 PM

ESPN
  MLB: Dodgers @ Mets

0.582

0.4

0.2

4/24 7:00 PM

ESPN
  MLB: Rangers @ Rays

0.57

0.4

 

9/18 7:00 PM

ESPN
  MLB: Athletics @ Pirates

0.565

0.4

0.2

7/10 7:00 PM

ESPN
  MLB: Nationals @ Braves

0.564

0.4

0.2

5/1 7:00 PM

ESPN
  MLB: Indians @ Rangers

0.561

0.4

0.2

6/12 7:00 PM

ESPN
  MLB: Orioles @ Red Sox

0.56

0.4

0.2

8/28 7:00 PM

ESPN
  MLB: Rays @ Angels

0.53

0.4

0.2

9/4 10:45 PM

ESPN
  MLB: Dodgers @ Giants

0.511

0.4

 

9/25 10:33 PM

ESPN
  MLB: Dodgers @ Yankees

0.5

0.4

0.1

6/19 7:00 PM

ESPN2
  MLB: Twins @ Red Sox

0.494

0.4

 

5/8 7:00 PM

ESPN
  MLB: Diamondbacks @ Mets

0.493

0.4

0.1

7/3 9:00 PM

ESPN
  MLB: Red Sox @ Giants

0.468

0.4

 

8/19 10:16 PM

ESPN2
  MLB: Red Sox @ Rays

0.467

0.4

0.1

5/15 7:00 PM

ESPN
  MLB: Diamondbacks @ Dodgers
(combined)

0.43

0.3

 

9/11 10:04 PM

ESPN+
ESPN2
  MLB: Giants @ Dodgers

0.397

0.3

0.1

6/24 10:00 PM

ESPN2
  MLB: Dodgers @ Diamondbacks
(combined)

0.367

0.3

 

9/18 10:00 PM

ESPN+
ESPN2
  MLB: Angels @ Dodgers (combined)

0.331

0.2

 

5/28 10:00 PM

ESPN+
ESPN2
  MLB: Rays @ Orioles

0.299

0.2

0.1

8/21 7:00 PM

ESPN2
  MLB: Phillies @ Reds

0.296

0.2

 

4/17 7:00 PM

ESPN2

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