Originally featured on BroadcastEngineering.com
Yankees v. Red Sox telecast attracts record cable audience
ESPN has reached yet another milestone. Its "Sunday Night Baseball" telecast on April 22, pitting the New York Yankees against the Boston Red Sox, averaged 3,952,000 household impressions and 5,483,000 viewers, according to ESPN, making it the most-watched "Sunday Night Baseball" telecast ever. This ranks ahead of a Yankees v. Red Sox game on July 25, 2004, which drew 3,862,000 households and 5,258,000 viewers.
In fact, the game was the most-viewed regular-season MLB telecast since Cardinals v. Cubs — when Mark McGwire hit his 61st home run — Sept. 7, 1998 (7,104,000 households). Additionally, the telecast ranked fifth in households and viewers among regular-season telecasts since ESPN began airing MLB games in 1990 (and has since presented a whopping 1544 telecasts).
The April 22 telecast included a historic moment, when the Red Sox tied an MLB record by hitting four consecutive home runs (Manny Ramirez, J.D. Drew, Mike Lowell and Jason Varitek) in the third inning of a 7-6 home victory against the Yankees. It is only the fifth time a team has hit four straight home runs, and only the second time there was only one pitcher (Chase Wright) involved. In the Boston DMA, the game delivered a 24.7 HH rating, the highest regular-season rating on cable for the Red Sox.