Those who like to bash baseball’s relevance in 2013 recieved a pretty formidable piece of evidence over the weekend. Thank the Houston Astros and Cleveland Indians – during a contest on Sunday, one which held playoff implications for Cleveland and little for Houston, Astros nation was completely and utterly silent, at least as far as TV ratings go. The game received a 0.0 rating in the Houston television market, per the Nielsen Co., which messures TV viewing patterns. That’s a pretty big (or, small?) deal. Per David Barron of the Houston Chronicle, it could be a record-low for Major League Baseball games:
“It was the first time in Houston, where games have been broadcast on cable outlets since 1983, and perhaps the first time in the history of Major League Baseball that an MLB game had no measurable viewership in its home market.
By comparison, Nielsen reported that the Texans’ loss at Baltimore had a 23.0 rating, which equates to an average audience of 526,553 of Houston’s 2.28 million TV households, on KHOU (Channel 11).”
The news goes hand-in-hand with the down-trending sport’s viewing patterns, but this has to be pretty alarming. Granted, Houston is a lousy, lousy team, and Cleveland, though in the midst of a playoff chase (GO TRIBE GO TRIBE), doesn’t exactly carry the same weight as a Boston or a Los Angeles, but Bud Selig has to be worried about the legacy he leaves for his protege to clean up.
For fun, things that drew higher ratings than the Astros game in the Houston market over the weekend:
— A Cosby Show rerun (.5)
— NHRA Drag Racing on ESPN 2 (.5)
— The NHRA Sportsman Series on ESPN 2 (.03)
— The Giants-Yankees game on a local channel (.03)
— Louisiana Monroe-Baylor, FS1 (.1)