Last night’s National League Wild Card Game contest between the San Francisco Giants and New York Mets drew an overnight rating of 5.8, the highest for a Major League Baseball game on ESPN in 13 years. It also set a network record in the San Francisco (16.0) and New York (15.6) markets.
All the pieces fell into place for such viewership. Two marquee pitchers led two big-market teams on a night with virtually no sports or political competition. A thrilling pitchers’ duel helped eyeballs stay engaged.
Big picture, this doesn’t mean much for baseball. You’ll no doubt hear suggestions to the contrary today. Millions of people were treated to a fantastic baseball game on a weekday. But football is waiting in the wings to steal all of baseball’s momentum this weekend as the divisional rounds begin.