By David Zurawik
The Baltimore Sun
3:51 PM EDT, October 9, 2012
Baltimore viewers are tuning into the Orioles postseason play on TBS in big numbers, according to Nielsen Media figures for the first three games.
An average audience of 370,783 Baltimore viewers watched the Orioles beat the Texas Rangers in a one-game wildcard showdown Friday.
That audience Friday night peaked at 452,530 at 11:30 p.m.
Meanwhile 348,442 viewers tuned in Sunday night in Game 1 of ALDS against the New York Yankees. That audience peaked at 394,996 at 11:15 p.m. Sunday.
Monday's game, meanwhile, drew an average local audience of 317,598 viewers, with a top of 354,831 at 10:15 p.m.
Making the numbers even more impressive is the fact that the games were competing against new episodes of cable series like Showtime's "Homeland" and NBC's "Sunday Night Football." On Monday, the O's were up against "Monday Night Football" on ESPN and the new fall network series.
By way of comparison, the biggest Orioles postseason audience is still only about 60 percent of the average Baltimore Ravens regular-season TV audience, based on household ratings. While the playoffs on TBS have earned a 20 rating (one out of every five homes with a TV in the Baltimore market), the Ravens have been averaging a 34 rating in Baltimore this year.
But the local TV audience for the first three nights is estimated to be the largest for TV baseball in Baltimore in 15 years.
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