TV ratings for the Cincinnati Reds' COVID-shortened season dropped 9% – or much more – from 2019.
The 60 games telecast July through September averaged a 4.67 household rating, "down 9 percent to their 2019 average," according to Kate Zalesko, Fox Sports Ohio communications and social media director.
However, Forbes magazine reports that the Reds were "down 18 percent with a 4.67 rating compared to 5.72 last season."
Interest was especially high when the Reds finally opened the season July 24, after nearly a four-month delay due to the global coronavirus pandemic which has killed more than 210,000 Americans.
Opening Day – the Detroit Tigers-Reds game simulcast by WKRC-TV on Friday July 24 – drew a whopping 15.17 household rating. The next seven cable-only games (July 25-31) averaged a 7.14 household rating, Zalesko says.
The late eight regular season games in September, as the Reds fought for the second National League wild card, drew a 5.6 household rating, 20% over the season average, she says.
The Reds' 4.67 season rating was fifth among all Major League Baseball teams this year. The Cleveland Indians were first with a 6.61 household ratings.
Who finished second, third and fourth? "The others I am not able to share," says Zelasko, who works for the regional sports networked owned by Sinclair Broadcast Group.
The top five rated Red games were:
July 24: Opening Day, Tigers at Reds, 15.17 rating (simulcast with WKRC-TV)
July 25: Tigers at Reds, 8.05
July 26: Tigers at Reds, 7.14
Sept. 23: Brewers at Reds, 6.91
Aug. 2: Reds at Tigers (second game of doubleheader), 6.79