Red Sox Off-Season Spending Pays Off In Local TV Ratings

Adrian Gonzalez Red Sox

Photo: MLB Network

It is hard to sell more tickets at Fenway Park when the Boston Red Sox are selling out every game. But there is always room for more eyes to watch on TV, and that is exactly what the Red Sox are getting after their winter spending spree.Through the first 90 games of the season, the Red Sox have an average local television rating of 7.66. That is fourth in baseball, and represents a 22 per cent increase over 2010.

The Sox 188,000 average households trails on the New York Yankees (309,000) and the Philadelphia Phillies (268,000). The Yankees figure is actually down 8 per cent while the average number of households tuning into Phillies games is up 32 per cent.

The Red Sox made a couple of big splashes this off-season that made them favourites to win the American League. By signing Carl Crawford and trading for Adrian Gonzalez, the Red Sox committed nearly $300 million to two players.

On the other coast, the San Francisco Giants are experiencing a nice World Series bump. Their 4.79 rating represents a 35 per cent increase over last year. That is the third biggest jump in baseball, trailing just the Cleveland Indians (+80%) and the Texas Rangers (+35%). The average number of households watching Giants games (121,000) is now fifth overall.

The big losers are the Houston Astros (-34%) and Tampa Bay Rays (-37%), both of which have seen their 2011 local ratings fall more than 30 per cent. The Rays ranked fifth in TV ratings a year ago.

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