So many of you did watch that coverage that TBS set ratings records. The Game 4 Cubs vs. Cardinals telecast averaged 6.2 million total viewers and a 4.0 U.S. household rating, the highest-rated and most-viewed program across all of television (broadcast and cable) airing in the same time period, according to metered-market ratings.
The numbers were even higher in Chicago, where the broadcast had a 21.4 rating, and in St. Louis, with a 22.9 rating. Tuesday’s NLDS Game 4 doubleheader on TBS, including the Mets/Dodgers game, had ratings up 90 percent when compared to the network’s corresponding NLDS Game 4 telecasts in 2013 (the last time TBS aired LDS Game 4 telecasts). Last night’s doubleheader was TBS’s highest-rated and most-viewed fourth day of MLB Postseason coverage.
Locally in Chicago, ABC7, which began a five-year deal to carry Cubs games this season, had the highest-rated local postgame coverage from 7 to 8 p.m., right after the game ended. ABC7's 5.6 rating and 9 share led the stations that carried live coverage (WMAQ-Ch. 5 had 4.4/7 and WGN had 2.7/4).
The Cubs are becoming a bigger story than just baseball nationally, as Jeff Passan writes:
Major League Baseball's fantasy continued unfolding at Wrigley Field on Tuesday night. Not only are these Chicago Cubs advancing to the National League Championship Series after dispatching their archrivals, the St. Louis Cardinals, they're doing so with the sort of young, lovable non-losers that even the most avuncular and grizzled fan can't help but embrace.
Passan is right. Not only would the Cubs making the World Series be a ratings bonanza that Commissioner Rob Manfred and TV executives can only dream about, but if they do get there, the games become more than a baseball or sports story. People who don't even care about baseball would watch the games. A Cubs World Series could deliver the highest Series TV ratings in 20 years, maybe more.
Let's hope we get the chance to find out.