Major League Baseball’s Opening Night telecast presented by Scotts, which saw the St. Louis Cardinals defeat the Chicago Cubs 3-0 at Wrigley Field, delivered a 2.1 overnight rating on ESPN2, according to Nielsen. This marks MLB’s highest-rated Opening Night in five years (since 2010) and is up 40 percent compared to Opening Night in 2014 and 2013 (1.5).
Opening Night on ESPN2 also enjoyed significant success in local markets. In St. Louis, the telecast drew a 17.7 rating, making it the highest-rated regular-season MLB telecast on any ESPN network ever in the market. In Chicago, the game delivered a 7.6, making it the highest-rated regular-season MLB game in the market on ESPN networks in five years.
With 3,354,000 viewers watching on ESPN2, Major League Baseball’s Opening Night presented by Scotts (St. Louis Cardinals at Chicago Cubs) delivered a 47% increase from last year’s game (Los Angeles Dodgers at San Diego Padres – 1,614,000 viewers) and the biggest audience for an ESPN or ESPN2 MLB Opening Night Since 2008, according Fast National figures from Nielsen. The corresponding U.S. Household rating was a 2.0, up 43% from 2014 (1.4).
Additionally, viewership for the game represents the highest total for an ESPN or ESPN2 regular-season game since New York Yankees at Boston Red Sox on August 7, 2011.
On the digital front, the game had 163,000 unique viewers (an increase of 180% from last year) and 8.6 million minutes viewed (up 218%), which makes it the most-viewed regular-season MLB game ever on WatchESPN.