Update 2: The game averaged 7.42 million viewers on TBS. Despite breaking the overnight ratings record for a Wild Card game, viewership did not top the 7.6 million for last year’s Yankees-Astros Wild Card.
The San Francisco Giants victory over the New York Mets in the National League Wild Card game drew a 5.8 overnight rating (i.e. 5.8% of the homes in the 56 largest markets were tuned into the game) on ESPN.
That’s a record for Wild Card games and the best overnight rating for an MLB telecast on ESPN in 13 years.
It was up 5% from from the 5.5 for last year’s Cubs-Pirates game on TBS that was TBS’s best Wild Card game rating ever, and 41% vs the 4.1 overnight on ESPN in 2014 (Giants-Pirates) that had been the Wild Card game overnight ratings record prior to last year’s Cubs-Mets and Astros-Yankees (5.7) games.
Here are some local market numbers via ESPN’s Ben Cafardo:
Update: here’s the press release from ESPN:
ESPN Expected to Win the Night Across Television
Last night’s 2016 MLB National League Wild Card Game telecast presented by Hankook Tire is the highest-rated MLB Wild Card Game ever and ESPN’s most-streamed MLB event ever. The telecast generated a record 5.8 overnight rating, which surpasses the previous high (5.7) set by both the American League and National League Wild Card Games in 2015, according to Nielsen. The 5.8 overnight rating is the best for an MLB game on ESPN in 13 years, (since 2003). It peaked with a 7.1 overnight rating from 11-11:15 p.m. ET.
The Giants-Mets game delivered ESPN its largest streaming audience ever for an MLB event. It set several records, including 35,977,000 total minutes streamed, 634,400 unique viewers and an average minute audience of 173,800 viewers. This is up 40 percent, 42 percent and 37 percent, respectively from the 2015 MLB American League Wild Card Game on ESPN (New York Yankees vs. Houston Astros).
Based on the overnights from Nielsen, ESPN is expected to win the night across all of television for Wednesday, October 5.
The 2016 MLB National League Wild Card Game also set local records, delivering a 16.0 overnight rating in San Francisco, and a 15.6 overnight rating in New York, which is the best ever for an MLB game on ESPN in those markets.
The San Francisco Giants defeated the New York Mets 3-0 in the win-or-go-home game, behind a classic performance by Madison Bumgarner.
ESPN’s coverage of the 2016 MLB Postseason continues with every game on ESPN Radio, plus Baseball Tonight and SportsCenter coverage through the World Series.