Conventional wisdom said that fans would consume sports in large quantities on TV once they returned in 2020 after a months-long drought and with in-person attendance wiped out by the coronavirus pandemic.
So far, in an early sample size of Major League Baseball regional sports networks, that notion is proving to be true.
Forbes has the numbers for the 29 U.S.-based MLB teams through July 30 — just a handful of games, but still a useful early snapshot (the Canada-based Blue Jays were not included).
Overall, TV ratings on RSNs are up 17.7% from last year to his year (3.66 this year compared to 3.11 in 2019).
Close to two-thirds of U.S. teams (19 out of 29) have seen increases, and the Twins are near the top of two lists: overall TV ratings in 2020 and percent increase from last year to this year.
Per Forbes, Twins games on Fox Sports North have jumped from an already solid 4.94 rating in 2019 to an even more robust 7.24 through the six Twins games between July 24 and July 30.
Only Cleveland, St. Louis and Cincinnati have higher ratings this season, putting the Twins on FSN fourth. Last year they were No. 8.
And the Twins’ 47% increase so far this season is tied with the Tigers for the sixth-biggest jump from last year to this year. So the Twins on FSN were starting from a strong spot in the ratings and have increased quite a bit — perhaps not surprising given last year’s 101-win season and the anticipation for continued success this year.
A rating point in the Twin Cities represents about 17,600 households, meaning the average TV audience for a Twins game this year has been a little over 127,000 households.
Forbes also reported that more than 90% of ad inventory for MLB games on RSNs had already been sold by the time the season started.
For full details on all 29 teams, you can read the full article and see all the numbers here.