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TBS ratings for playoffs up over last year

TBS ratings for playoffs up over last year

Wednesday, the first day of this postseason on TBS, was the most-watched opening day of the Division Series since 2005, averaging nearly five million total viewers for a tripleheader that featured home victories by the Phillies, Yankees and Dodgers.

Thursday's announcement by Turner Sports came two days after Major League Baseball announced that the 2009 regular-season attendance was its fifth-largest ever, drawing more than 73.4 million fans despite the economic woes.

TBS also saw double-digit growth compared to last year, averaging a 3.3 U.S. household rating for all three games, which was a 14-percent ratings increase over the first day of the 2008 postseason. In addition, total average viewers increased 16 percent (4,933,000 vs. 4,256,000) and households were up 14 percent (3,792,000 vs. 3,316,000) versus last year.

TBS is broadcasting all four Division Series plus the National League Championship Series, while FOX will broadcast the American League Championship Series and World Series. TBS also announced that Wednesday marked the network's most-watched day in 2009.

It was the second consecutive big day for TBS, which had reported huge numbers for the classic tiebreaker game won by the Twins over the Tigers, 6-5, in 12 innings at the Metrodome. Here were highlights of the first day of the Division Series:

• The network's primetime game of Twins at Yankees earned a 4.3 U.S. household rating, up 23 percent, and 6,607,000 total viewers, also up 23 percent over last year's Dodgers at Cubs game in the same time slot. Twins-Yankees delivered a 21.6 rating in the Minneapolis/St. Paul market and a 13.4 rating in the New York market.

• The Dodgers' 5-3 victory over the Cardinals delivered a 3.3 U.S. household rating, up 10 percent, and 4,973,000 total viewers, up 12 percent over last year's Red Sox at Angels game. The Cardinals at Dodgers game delivered a 20.0 rating in the St. Louis market and a 9.6 rating in the Los Angeles market.

• The average household rating for the Phillies' win over the Rockies in Game 1 was even with last year's Brewers at Phillies game, receiving a 2.0 U.S. household rating and 2,758,000 total viewers. Rockies-Phillies delivered a 15.5 rating in the Philly market and a 5.9 rating in the Denver market.

TBS announced that the first day saw significant growth in all key demographics, including a 32-percent jump over last year in overall 18-34 age group and the same in male-only 18-34.

The second day of TBS Division Series coverage is under way, with the Rockies evening their series at a game apiece and Cardinals-Dodgers Game 2 under way at Dodger Stadium. The Red Sox and Angels open their series at 9:30 p.m. ET in Anaheim.

Friday's doubleheader coverage will feature Game 2 between the Twins and Yankees starting at 6 p.m. ET, followed by Game 2 of Red Sox at Angels at 9:30 ET.

Mark Newman is enterprise editor of MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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