As we know, the Yankees haven’t been in the American League Championship Series since 2004, and Saturday night’s game was a 13-inning thriller that ended with an Angels’ error shortly after 1 a.m. It is, therefore, not surprising to me that Game 2 was the highest rated Saturday night LCS game since the Yanks and Red Sox squared off in 2004. According to Nielsen numbers, 9.4 million people watched the game — a 53 percent increase from 2008’s Saturday night 11-inning ALCS Game 2. In fact, ratings are up 44 percent for the ALCS over last year. With two teams from the country’s largest media markets squaring off, American League baseball is enjoying a postseason ratings renaissance. As I wrote on Saturday, the Yankees are good for baseball indeed.
As an interesting postscript to the tale of increased TV ratings, Maury Brown explores why games begin at 7:57 during the ALCS. It is apparently MLB and FOX’s nod at the problem of late game times. By starting the game three minutes to 8 p.m., baseball can say the games are starting before 8 p.m. and thus more fans can watch.