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SPORTS WRAP MLB Division Series Review; Championship Series Preview
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SPORTS WRAP MLB Division Series Review; Championship Series Preview

Each week, Nielsen Sports’ analysts offer their take on the biggest sports media headlines.

Angels/Red Sox Match-Up Tops Division Series TV Ratings

The third game of the Los Angeles Angels v. Boston Red Sox drew the largest television audience of the division series: 6.2 million viewers.  The three other games in that contentious series also made the top ten — with average TV audiences of approximately 5.7 million (game four), 5.3 million (game two), and 4.4 million viewers (game one), respectively.

After the jump, view complete national ratings from the division series games, aired exclusively on TBS.

RANK MATCHUP / GAME # DATE TELECAST

START TIME

VIEWERS (P2+) *
1 ANGELS-RED SOX 3 10/5/2008 7:50 PM 6,200,000
2 ANGELS-RED SOX 4 10/6/2008 8:30 PM 5,721,000
3 DODGERS-CUBS 1 10/1/2008 6:29 PM 5,382,000
4 RED SOX-ANGELS 2 10/3/2008 9:30 PM 5,270,000
5 CUBS-DODGERS 3 10/4/2008 10:13 PM 5,225,000
6 PHILLIES-BREWERS 3 10/4/2008 6:30 PM 4,574,000
7 RED SOX-ANGELS 1 10/1/2008 10:00 PM 4,443,000
8 BREWERS-PHILLIES 2 10/2/2008 6:00 PM 4,197,000
9 DODGERS-CUBS 2 10/2/2008 9:30 PM 4,025,000
10 WHITE SOX-RAYS 2 10/3/2008 6:00 PM 3,897,000
11 RAYS-WHITE SOX 3 10/5/2008 4:32 PM 3,354,000
12 RAYS-WHITE SOX 4 10/6/2008 5:00 PM 3,098,000
13 BREWERS-PHILLIES 1 10/1/2008 3:00 PM 2,765,000
14 WHITE SOX-RAYS 1 10/2/2008 2:30 PM 2,611,000
15 PHILLIES-BREWERS 4 10/5/2008 1:00 PM 2,222,000
Source: The Nielsen Company (October 1, 2008 – October 6, 2008).
*Data includes Live and Same Day DVR viewing.

Manny Boosts Dodgers…TV Ratings?

What are the odds that the Los Angeles Dodgers would have made it to the MLB National League Championship Series without Manny Ramirez?  Since Manny’s move west to join the Dodgers, the team has gone from one game under .500 to seven games above. 

Local L.A. fans’ interest in the Dodgers is also on the rise.  Ramirez’s first game with the Dodgers drew 5.2% of all TV households in the L.A. market — the team’s largest TV audience of the season.  Overall, local ratings for Dodgers games are up by 35% since August 1.

Rays’ First Post-Season Triggers TV Ratings Surge

The Red Sox, Ramirez’s former team, didn’t miss a beat after losing their all-star slugger to the Dodgers.  The resurgent Tampa Bay Rays, however, may change that. 

The Rays, who are competing in their first post-season in franchise history, are drawing strong TV audiences in their local Tampa Bay market, with ratings up by 97% over last season, to date.  When the Rays and the Red Sox last faced off on July 2, 9% of all households in the Tampa Bay market tuned in for the game, setting a Rays franchise ratings record.