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Monday Night Football easily beats baseball playoffs’ TV ratings

Indianapolis Colts v Tampa Bay Buccaneers Getty Images

A playoff game featuring Major League Baseball’s marquee team was no match for an ordinary NFL regular-season game in the TV ratings race on Monday night.

According to Variety, ESPN’s Monday Night Football broadcast drew a 4.5 rating and 11 share in the coveted 18-49 demographic, and 10.84 million viewers. That easily bested the TBS broadcast of the Yankees-Tigers baseball playoff game, which got a 2.1 rating and 5 share in the demographic, and 6.05 million viewers.

So the Colts-Bucs game, which was notable mostly for a star player who wasn’t on the field, drew far more fan interest than Yankees-Tigers. This represents just one more datapoint demonstrating the NFL’s dominance over the American television landscape.

Even after concerns that the lockout would turn fans off, fans are turning the NFL on in huge numbers.

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51 Responses to “Monday Night Football easily beats baseball playoffs’ TV ratings”
  1. apooster says: Oct 5, 2011 2:00 PM

    Baseball is too boring.

  2. broncobillie says: Oct 5, 2011 2:02 PM

    Shows how much the country now cares about the Yankees. Painter and the initially smug Bucs made for a far better game than the matchup initially sounded.

  3. nineroutsider says: Oct 5, 2011 2:02 PM

    That game sucked, but week 4 was must see TV for any NFL fan. The only time baseball beats football is if your football team sucks and your baseball team is killing it…I watched the SF Giants over the 49ers last year every time they were on.

    Ok…so I taped the 9ers game and went through that pain after watching the Giants.

    If you don’t have the ticket, get the RedZone. This last Sunday is why you have to have it. $5 additional/Mo and totally worth it.

  4. sastylz says: Oct 5, 2011 2:03 PM

    People still watch baseball?!?

  5. waxedagain says: Oct 5, 2011 2:04 PM

    Who watches TBS? If the baseball game had been on network TV, the results would have been skewed differently.

  6. terripet says: Oct 5, 2011 2:12 PM

    If the Colts had a good head coach they would be 3-1. Caldwell needs to go, His decision on 3rd and half a yard was a joke.

  7. hitdog042 says: Oct 5, 2011 2:13 PM

    Well, it doesn’t help the baseball playoffs were on TNT.

    Baseball is for loyalists. Yankees fans watched the Yankees. Football fans watched MNF.

    As a die hard Sox fan, I can tell you I’d rather watch the NFL over a baseball game the Sox weren’t playing in unless it’s the world series.

  8. gregjennings85 says: Oct 5, 2011 2:18 PM

    Well, let’s see…

    One is a sport, that involves contact, athleticism and competition.

    The other is skill, involves monopoly-like bases, massive delays and some people that never move faster than a jog.

    Also, I hardly consider anything you could do while having a mouthful of chewing tobacco a “sport.”

  9. favreforever says: Oct 5, 2011 2:22 PM

    MLB is kicking around the idea of having the ballgirls go naked in the future.

  10. capslockkey says: Oct 5, 2011 2:26 PM

    It was the first time people got to see the most overlooked young QB, Josh Freeman on a national stage. That’s way more intriguing than baseball. The kid is twice the QB Sanchez is and yet we get that white slacks wearing pick throwing douche shoved own our throats on a weekly basis.

    If the NFL has a problem, is that they they put all their eggs in one basket too much on these primetime games by showing the same big market teams over and over, particularly on Sunday Night while a lot of great young and upcoming talent are hidden in the shadows simply because they don’t play for the Steelers, Pats, Colts, NFC East team, etc.

  11. motorcitykitties says: Oct 5, 2011 2:29 PM

    That’s because baseball is awful. The highest payroll usually wins.

  12. granadafan says: Oct 5, 2011 2:30 PM

    Baseball is way past it’s prime. Too many games, they last way too long, and it’s just boring to watch.

  13. scoops1 says: Oct 5, 2011 2:31 PM

    Watching baseball on TV is worse then watching grass grow

  14. thevza says: Oct 5, 2011 2:34 PM

    No surprise there. Watching a baseball game is as about exciting as watching the home shopping network for 3 hours.

  15. schmitty2 says: Oct 5, 2011 2:38 PM

    Baseball would maybe more interesting if we didnt have to wait a minute between pitches while batters spit and stare off into space and pitchers rub their junk

  16. keirster says: Oct 5, 2011 2:39 PM

    Hey nineroutside…of course YOU thought the game sucked. You are quivering at the thought of the Bucs defensive line leaving Alex Smith as nothing but a grease spot on the field this Sunday. Our starting QB is a franchise and yours is a punchline. I do Think your new coach will turn it around, but you’ll probably be watching the Giants game at that point. Be a fan, not a fawn!

    This site is all about the little italian man, the teams he and NBC like and his Napolean complex. Used to be more news, now ( like any growing corporate company ) They are turning into opinionated Megalomaniacs. I still visit because they still get the news quickly and Greg and MDS do a good job of hustling to get the story. Go Bucs!!!

  17. minkytails says: Oct 5, 2011 2:42 PM

    Baseball is still a great sport, but Major League Baseball is a joke, thank you Bud Selig. The best thing you got going for you is that you USED TO BE the worst commissioner in pro sports. Then Roger Goodell came along.

  18. rc33 says: Oct 5, 2011 2:43 PM

    The NFL is king; no news there.

    My Dad (for instance) doesn’t even know where to find TBS on the dial but he certainly knows where ESPN is.
    Another consideration.

  19. vahawker says: Oct 5, 2011 2:44 PM

    MLB is so completely irrelevant that it can’t get playoff games on major networks any more. Rams-Vikings would likely out draw a Works Series game these days. Just another couple of years and the NHL will be getting more viewers.

  20. bigblaw says: Oct 5, 2011 2:46 PM

    baseball should be 100 games TOPS and make it exciting and count each week like football…but Royal vs. orioles on a tuesday …who would watch that???

  21. kane337 says: Oct 5, 2011 2:49 PM

    4.5 is a very low rating for football.

  22. scarletmacaw says: Oct 5, 2011 2:49 PM

    I was a huge fan of baseball, but I vowed to never watch another game after the strike. I thought it was a big position to take at the time, but I really don’t miss it.

  23. cleverbob says: Oct 5, 2011 3:01 PM

    The ADHD Generation rears its head…

  24. dolphandan says: Oct 5, 2011 3:05 PM

    If attendance keeps dropping for baseball they may have to try something drastic, like juicing the ball or the players…. … … …

  25. protectthishouse54 says: Oct 5, 2011 3:06 PM

    That’s a shame, because the folks who ignore playoff baseball are missing out on some great stuff. Watching a baseball game requires a very different approach and mindset, but I feel sorry for anyone who can’t appreciate the nuances of baseball, especially in contrast to the brutality of football.

    “The other is skill, involves monopoly-like bases, massive delays and some people that never move faster than a jog.”
    To this I would say that the pace of a baseball game is becoming more satisfying than that of a football game. Football games are a lot of start and stop, punctuated with high excitement plays whereas baseball is more of a steady buildup to the finish or turning point of the game. Not to mention, with all the replay involved in todays game, there is substantially more downtime in a football game. Every score leads to a ten minute hiatus in the flow of the game.

  26. tunescribe says: Oct 5, 2011 3:09 PM

    Baseball is an anachronism.

  27. clavette says: Oct 5, 2011 3:11 PM

    Haha a terrible Monday night game and its more watched than baseball. I love it

  28. tdk24 says: Oct 5, 2011 3:12 PM

    I can believe it, even though it was 2 weak teams, it was a good matchup.

  29. tformation says: Oct 5, 2011 3:14 PM

    NFL Football is a classic case of “less is more.” One football game is the equivalent of 10 baseball games. Less games = more excitement. The playoffs in baseball are almost completely decided by the July all-star break. Football, on the other hand, even a game like this could have playoff implications. The Colts, although improbable, are not mathematically out of the playoff picture yet. That kind of playoff excitement is why I watch football or baseball.

    That and baseball bores the hell out of me. If I’m at the game, that’s one thing, but to watch a game on TV? Nah.

  30. tformation says: Oct 5, 2011 3:15 PM

    whoops, I meant : “football OVER baseball”

  31. gisellichek says: Oct 5, 2011 3:16 PM

    See… Baseball is a parochial sport… baseball fans will not watch another team play in the playoffs …football , no matter who is playing … fans will always tune in…

    Red Sox crapped out… Football is way better than a Yankees game… Trust me… if it was Sox Yanks … that football game gets crushed.

  32. fissels says: Oct 5, 2011 3:22 PM

    I love baseball when my team is playing. Otherwise, I’d rather watch football, any teams will do.

  33. stixzidinia says: Oct 5, 2011 3:25 PM

    That’s because 90% of NFL fans are brainless lemmings who don’t even have enough backbone to make a decision to not watch a boring football game between like Colts/Bucs.

  34. trbowman says: Oct 5, 2011 3:27 PM

    Luckswing is the worst sport on Earth.

  35. rajbais says: Oct 5, 2011 3:27 PM

    Finally, America is sticking it to baseball!!!

    I’m from Chicago and it was disgusting to see people even smile at anything pertaining to the Cubs!!!

    Now they’re realizing that the team and baseball, itself, is a waste of time!!!

  36. jvibottomline says: Oct 5, 2011 3:32 PM

    Football is easier to GAMBLE on, BOTTOMLINE! A-Rod makes 275 million all guaranteed, Peyton Manning 90 million, 50 million guaranteed. I think my kid better grab a glove and never work a day in his life rather than a football, a crappy tv analyst job, and a wheelchair.

  37. jakek2 says: Oct 5, 2011 3:37 PM

    Skew the numbers some more why don’t you. Tell me who watched what in the NY/DET markets. Of course Yankee hating fans in Wyoming are going to watch Bucs-Colts.

  38. massappeal12345 says: Oct 5, 2011 3:39 PM

    Most Boston sportswriters still contend that Boston is a Red Sox town, before the collapse, of course.
    They never mention that a few years ago, a non Patriot Hall of Fame game with all back-ups playing, beat a Red Sox-yankees regular season Sunday Night baseball game.

  39. bmorelikeme says: Oct 5, 2011 3:48 PM

    So apparently I’m the only sports fan who spent my monday night flipping between TBS and ESPN…weird

  40. jakek2 says: Oct 5, 2011 3:50 PM

    protectthishouse54 –

    You hit the nail on the head. Baseball is a fantastic game (and thankfully where the rules can’t be altered to further fill the pockets of greedy owners). You won’t be able to convince the tards on this site because you actually have to have a brain to understand and enjoy a baseball game.

    Goodell’s NFL is a BORE compared to MLB. If I want to watch a track meet w/o any repercussions, NFL is what to watch. Today’s generation is a Google/Internet generation that needs immediate satisfaction. When they click, they want the info. They can’t sit for an hour and think how saving your curveball in the first three innings will affect how batters will approach you in the important middle innings. These idiots wouldn’t know the beauty of a “double-switch” if it hit them over the head.

    On 3rd and 10, they will know within 25 seconds whether something will happen. Baseball on the other hand is a thinking man’s game with ebbs and flows, setups and strategy.

    These days, the NFL is just something on TV when its too cold to go outside and what fills the time between October and spring training.

  41. sportsdrenched.com says: Oct 5, 2011 3:56 PM

    MLB is so completely irrelevant

    The 7.2 Billion Dollars in revenue MLB generated last year says differently.

    If attendance keeps dropping for baseball they may have to try something drastic

    Except MLB attendance was the highest it’s been in 4 years this year.

    Look, we get the NFL is the King of America. However, Baseball is not as irrellevant as some of you think it is. It’s just consumed differently than football. I enjoy both, a lot. And if you don’t. That’s your problem.

  42. dasmol says: Oct 5, 2011 3:57 PM

    Baseball? What is this “baseball” you speak of?

  43. We'reFineThere says: Oct 5, 2011 4:12 PM

    Cleverbob, call us the ADHD generation all you want but the next generation is going to be the same but moreso.

    Things will no longer exist in 20 years:

    Regular season baseball
    Regular season basketball
    Paid musicians
    Successful companies without Internet monitoring

  44. brock29609 says: Oct 5, 2011 4:16 PM

    Something isn’t adding up here…

    How could the football game have more than double the rating and share, but less than double the audience?

  45. pappysarcasm says: Oct 5, 2011 5:36 PM

    Thats really really sad! Gen Xer’s are turning their backs on American traditions!…and your boomer parents are to blame for raising your spoiled little arses the way they did!

  46. brasho says: Oct 5, 2011 5:55 PM

    As a die-hard Bucs fan I have to say that that was a horrible game on MNF. Boring, sloppy, poorly officiated, and called by the network..but it was still the only thing on in my house… I’m just surprised the rest of America tuned in to that horrid display of football. I’m not surprised people didn’t watch baseball, I’m sure there are better things to watch… like watching paint dry, a dog lick itself, Paula Dean doing a pole dance… anything is better than watching baseball.

  47. dirtdawg55 says: Oct 5, 2011 6:32 PM

    6 million viewers for a playoff game featuring the Yankees? Bleah! Six million Canadians watched the women’s gold medal hockey game during the 2010 Olympics. That’s with a population of 35 million.

    Pretty much tells you everything you need to know about the state of baseball.

    I watch every Sunday night and Monday night football game I can, no matter who is playing. Baseball? I love it live, hate it on TV.

  48. fmwarner says: Oct 5, 2011 7:34 PM

    brock29609 says: Oct 5, 2011 4:16 PM

    Something isn’t adding up here…

    How could the football game have more than double the rating and share, but less than double the audience?
    ===================================

    Rating and share are averaged across the length of the broadcast. Since the two games did not run for the same length of time and also not the same specific time, there could be variations. The numbers are also affected by the fact that some homes get TBS but not ESPN or vice versa.

    Not saying that PFT got the numbers right, but it’s possible for the correct numbers to appear that they didn’t add up.

  49. jakek2 says: Oct 5, 2011 7:40 PM

    6 million viewers for a playoff game featuring the Yankees? Bleah! Six million Canadians watched the women’s gold medal hockey game during the 2010 Olympics. That’s with a population of 35 million.

    Pretty much tells you everything you need to know about the state of baseball.
    ——
    dirtdog – not really. Canada still only has two channels and one is Don Cherry.

  50. habsman says: Oct 5, 2011 7:47 PM

    On another note: Is anyone going to miss basketball?

  51. johnnyshore says: Oct 5, 2011 9:13 PM

    The MLB playoffs started?

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