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Red Sox V. Rays Game 7 Draws Record-Breaking TV Ratings
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Red Sox V. Rays Game 7 Draws Record-Breaking TV Ratings

Game seven of the closely contested American League Championship Series between the Boston Red Sox and the Tampa Bay Rays drew the largest ever TV audience of any MLB playoff game aired on cable, Nielsen reported Tuesday.  

The game, which aired on TBS Sunday night, drew almost 13.4 million average viewers, easily surpassing game four of last year’s Indians v. Yankees division series, which claimed second place overall with 9.2 million average viewers.

TV viewership of the ALCS games surged after the Red Sox overcame a seven-run deficit in game five to beat the Rays and stay in the series. 

Last Thursday, game five drew 7.2 million average viewers.  Game six of the series pulled in 8.9 million viewers, securing third place in Nielsen’s ranking of the all-time top MLB playoff game broadcasts on cable TV.

Rank  Top 10 MLB Playoff Games

Broadcast On Cable TV

Date Network Viewers (P2+)
1 RED SOX-RAYS 7 10/19/2008 TBSC 13,357,000
2 INDIANS-YANKEES 4 10/8/2007 TBSC 9,232,000
3 RED SOX-RAYS 6 10/18/2008 TBSC 8,928,000
4 INDIANS-YANKEES 3 10/7/2007 TBSC 8,460,000
5 BRAVES/CUBS 10/3/2003 ESPN 8,126,000
6 YANKEES-INDIANS 2 10/5/2007 TBSC 7,578,000
7 CUBS/BRAVES 10/1/2003 ESPN 7,432,000
8 ANGELS/YANKEES 10/7/2005 ESPN 7,212,000
9 RAYS-RED SOX 5 10/16/2008 TBSC 7,211,000
10 TWINS/YANKEES 10/6/2004 ESPN 6,811,000
Source: The Nielsen Company (1996 – 2008).

View Nielsen’s full ranking of MLB playoffs ratings, dating back to 1996.

Read coverage of Nielsen’s findings in Mediaweek.