Braves business update: TV ratings vary

Our weekly update on the business of the Braves:

TV ratings: What happens when the final round of the Masters goes up against one of 162 Braves games on Atlanta television? No contest, of course.

The Masters posted an 11.4 Nielsen rating in the Atlanta TV market Sunday, compared with 2.4 for the Braves-Mets game. The rating is the percentage of the market’s TV households tuned in on average. Sunday’s ratings roughly translated to an average of 265,000 metro-Atlanta homes watching the Masters and 56,000 homes watching the Braves.

Through the season’s first nine games, the Braves’ local TV ratings have ranged from 1.3 to 4.4. The rain-delayed home opener against the Mets drew the highest rating, translating to an audience of about 103,000 Atlanta homes. Wednesday’s homestand finale against the Marlins drew the lowest, not surprising given a noon start. Six of the first nine games had a rating of 3.0 or higher.

Attendance: The Braves' announced attendance totaled 158,051 for their first homestand, an average of 26,342 per game.

The largest crowd was 46,279 for the home opener against the Mets, and the smallest was 13,417 for Monday’s rain-delayed game against the Marlins. MLB’s announced attendance figures represent tickets sold, not the number of people in the stadium.

Payroll: We reported last week that the Braves' opening-day payroll was $97.8 million, which ranks 23rd among the 30 MLB teams. But even that figure may be deceivingly high.

If you factor out the salaries being paid to released players ($12.7 million to Dan Uggla, $8 million to Carlos Quentin and almost $600,000 to James Russell), players on the disabled list ($5.6 million to Mike Minor, $925,000 to Josh Outman and the MLB minimum to Shae Simmons, Joey Terdoslavich and Daniel Winkler) and a player on the restricted list ($1.1 million to Dian Toscano), the payroll for players currently on the Braves’ 25-man active roster drops to about $68 million.

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