Braves’ TV ratings post largest increase in MLB

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The Dodgers won five of seven games against the Braves during the regular season. Here's a look at each game.

The Braves’ return to the top of the National League East brought back many TV viewers who tuned out the team in recent years.

Telecasts of Braves games on Fox Sports South and Fox Sports Southeast averaged a 3.2 rating in the Atlanta television market this season, the highest since the team last won the division championship in 2013, according to Nielsen figures provided by Fox.

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The Braves’ ratings increased 76 percent this year from an average of 1.82 in the 2017 season -- the largest year-over-year increase in local ratings by any MLB team.

Still, viewership this year remained below the level of the 2013 season, when the Braves averaged a local rating of 4.1 in the regular season.

The rating represents the number of households, out of every 100 in the market, watching a telecast on average.

Not surprisingly, the Braves’ TV audience declined along with their win-loss record during the painful teardown and rebuild of recent years. An average of about 94,000 households in the Atlanta market watched Braves telecasts in 2013, but that plummeted to an average of 28,000 by 2016.

Viewership began to rebound in 2017, with Braves games on Fox Sports South/Southeast averaging about 44,000 households, and accelerated this year, averaging about 78,000 homes.

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Braves telecasts this season ranked No. 1 in prime time on cable TV in the Atlanta market, beating the average of all other cable networks, and No. 2 in prime time on all of TV in the market,  according to the Fox regional sports networks.

The networks' most-watched Braves game during the regular season was a 5-2 win over the Miami Marlins on Aug. 15, which posted a 5.99 rating locally (about 147,000 homes). That was the game in which the Braves' Ronald Acuna, who had led off the three previous games with home runs, was hit by a first-inning pitch from the Marlins' Jose Urena, resulting in a benches-clearing melee.

That night also produced the highest ratings of the season for the “Braves Live” pregame and postgame shows: 2.06 and 4.86, respectively.

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