The Tampa Bay Rays saw a huge jump in local television ratings in 2012. The 150 games broadcast on Sun Sports averaged a 4.9 rating, up 28% from 2011, when the local broadcasts averaged a 3.8 rating. A 4.9 rating translates to approximately 87,000 homes in the Tampa Bay market.
Oddly enough, the highest-rated game of the year was a Saturday night match-up against the A’s on May 5th in which Jonny Gomes hit a go-ahead home run in the 12th inning. That game had a 7.54 household rating.
A 28% jump is certainly good news for the Rays. However, the ratings are still down from 2010, when their 5.9 average rating ranked fifth amongst all Major League Baseball clubs. I haven’t seen the full rankings yet for the 2012 season, but a 4.9 rating is typically around eighth or ninth overall.
The Rays current deal pays them approximately $20 million per season and is set to expire in 2016. However, typically, new deals are negotiated a couple of years in advance of expiring. So look for the Rays to cash-in on these ratings starting in 2014 or 2015.