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Postseason Baseball draws viewers, nearly $109M in TV Ad spend

Major League Baseball’s 2021 postseason has scored well to date, in terms of overall average viewers per game — up 1% this year versus 2019.

The Nielsen-measured postseason has averaged 3.67 million per game for 29 total games versus 2019 — wild card, divisional, and league championship series games post-season contests.

This year is also up 62% versus a year ago, when it averaged 2.3 million viewers.

In 2020, MLB endured a severely pandemic-disrupted season. Most baseball games were rescheduled, extending into the late fall, and had to compete with other major TV sports franchises — the NBA and NFL in particular.

This year, specific postseason rounds — divisional and league championship series games — have seen slippage. Divisional games were down 3% from 2019 to 2.91 million. League championship series were 5% lower to 4.68 million viewers.

What improved? Initial postseason “wild card” games. The biggest was the New York Yankees-Boston Red Sox game — one of the more storied rivalries — which averaged 7.1 million viewers.

The other wild-card contest was second-best so far this postseason: St. Louis Cardinals-Los Angeles Dodgers, averaging 6.7 million viewers.

National TV advertising revenue estimates for the postseason so far are $108.6 million, according to — coming from 8,362 commercial TV airings, resulting 11.9 billion total impression for all postseason games, not including the World Series. This is versus an estimated $131.5 million in 2019 postseason national TV ad spend — 7,278 airings and 10.2 billion impressions.

Top advertisers this year: Geico, T-Mobile, Taco Bell, Progressive Insurance and Liberty Mutual. MediaPost

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