Bucs, ROOT SPORTS enjoy record ratings

PITTSBURGH -- The Pirates set a PNC Park attendance record this season, drawing more fans through the turnstiles in 2015 than in any other year in the North Shore ballpark's history. As it turns out, they were playing in front of a record-setting television audience as well.

ROOT SPORTS, the Pirates' television right holder, announced Thursday that the network posted an 8.4 average household rating during the regular season, the highest-rated season in the network's history.

The Bucs also drew the third-highest household ratings of all U.S.-based Major League clubs this year. They rewarded that audience with a 98-64 record, the second-best mark in the Majors and Pittsburgh's best since 1991.

The Pirates' ratings this season were up 9 percent over last season and 2.5 percent over the 2013 campaign.

The 8.4 rating was a 75 percent increase over the Pirates 10-year average, according to ROOT SPORTS. The Bucs posted an 8.7 average household rating in primetime (from 7-10 p.m.) -- 48 percent higher than their closest competition. All ratings are according to Nielsen Media Research.

Six of ROOT SPORTS' 20 highest-rated Pirates games came this year, including two against the Cardinals that ranked in the network's top 10.

Adam Berry is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.