www.baltimoresun.com/entertainment/tv/z-on-tv-blog/bal-orioles-finale-against-red-sox-most-watched-espn-game-since-1998-20110929,0,1966511.story

baltimoresun.com

Orioles win over Red Sox most watched Wednesday night ESPN game since 1998

Big audience tunes in for the final act in epic Red Sox meltdown

By David Zurawik

The Baltimore Sun

7:42 PM EDT, September 29, 2011

Advertisement

The Baltimore Orioles comeback victory over the Boston Red Sox on the final night of the regular season was the most watched Wednesday night baseball game on ESPN since 1998.

And the audience got even bigger right after the Red Sox-Orioles game to see the ending of the Tampa Bay Rays game against the New York Yankees.

It was one of the greatest nights of TV baseball ever.

Here's the the ESPN release:

Last night’s ESPN MLB telecast (7 p.m.-midnight ET) – in which Baltimore defeated Boston 4-3 to eliminate the Red Sox from the postseason in dramatic fashion – is the network’s most-viewed Wednesday night telecast since 1998 (St. Louis/Houston, Sept. 23 – 2.7 rating; 2,036,000 household impressions; 2,675,000 viewers), according to Nielsen.  The telecast (not shown in the local markets of the teams competing) averaged:

    1.6 household coverage rating
    1,549,000 household impressions
    2,117,000 viewers

Immediately after the game ended, ESPN provided live coverage (12:05-12:14 a.m.) of Tampa Bay’s extra-inning, walk-off victory against the New York Yankees – securing the Rays a postseason berth – which generated:

    2.8 rating
    2,775,000 household impressions
    3,841,000 viewers

ESPN2’s Wednesday Night Baseball telecast – Philadelphia’s extra-inning 4-3 win over Atlanta, eliminating the Braves from the postseason – posted:

    0.9 rating
    904,000 household impressions
    1,184,000 viewers

On the season, ESPN’s 69 regular-season MLB telecasts were up across the board compared to last year’s 66 telecasts:

    Viewership up five percent (1,449,000 vs. 1,386,000)
    Households up three percent (1,125,000 vs. 1,093,000)
    Rating even (1.1)

Sunday Night Baseball’s audience also grew this season:

    Viewership up five percent (2,294,000 vs. 2,177,000)
    Households up four percent (1,720,000 vs. 1,656,000)
    Rating even (1.7)

Digital & Mobile Usage – Wednesday, Sept. 28

September 28 was the highest trafficked day of the 2011 regular season for MLB content on ESPN digital platforms. Highlights:

ESPN.com
   MLB section had over 2.7 million unique visitors yesterday, up 56 percent vs. average day during the 2011 season
    MLB section logged an average minute audience of 19,000 users, up 65 percent vs. typical day this season
    MLB GameCast generated 500,000 unique visitors, up 205 percent vs. average day in 2011

ESPN Mobile Web
    Yankees/Rays GameCast posted 360,000 unique visitors and 1.9 million total minutes spent
    Phillies/Braves GameCast generated 332,000 unique visitors and 2.6 million total minutes spent
    Red Sox/Orioles GameCast netted 325,000 unique visitors and 1.7 million total minutes spent

ESPN3
    More than 150,000 unique viewers generated nearly 9.2 million minutes with an average time spent of one hour

Digital & Mobile Usage – 2011 MLB Season
    MLB content on ESPN's mobile properties up 27 percent in total minutes and 20 percent in visits compared to 2010
    ESPN.com's MLB section up 25 percent in total minutes and 17 percent in visits over last year