ARLINGTON, Texas -- In today's column , I wrote about the opportunity the Rangers have this weekend to establish a new identity and build a new fan base by making it to the first World Series in franchise history. In that column, I mention that for the first five games of the AL Championship Series, the TBS ratings in the Dallas-Fort Worth area (21.2) far exceeded the rating in New York (13.9).
I then asked TBS how that rating compared to the other cities during its coverage of the Division Series. TBS televises all Division Series games, and one of the two LCS each year.
The answer was that it's not bad. It's comparable to the best ratings TBS received in any competing city -- and far, far better than the Rangers games got locally in the first round.
The Rangers' local rating was last among the eight teams that played in the Division Series, although that can be explained in part by scheduling that had four of the five games played during the day (including two midweek day games). By contrast, the Phillies, Reds and Twins, whose ratings were the best, played only night games in the first round.
Here are the city-by-city ratings for the first-round games involving local teams:
1. Philadelphia, 24.6
2. (tie) Cincinnati 21.9
2. (tie) Minneapolis-St. Paul 21.9
4. San Francisco 15.6
5. Tampa-St. Petersburg 12.1
6. New York 11.9
7. Atlanta 11.6
8. Dallas-Fort Worth 10.5
And for the ALCS:
1. Dallas-Fort Worth 21.2
2. New York 13.9
The Texas market far outdid the New York market for each of the last three games:
For Game 3, it was 22.1 in Dallas-Fort Worth, 14.5 in New York. For Game 4, it was 26.5 in Dallas-Fort Worth, 17.1 in New York. For Game 5 (which began at 4 p.m. ET, 3 p.m. CT), it was 18.4 in Dallas-Fort Worth, 12.9 in New York.
Rangers people say that another factor to consider is that cable penetration in the Dallas-Fort Worth area is among the lowest in the country. That makes the low first-round rating more understandable, and the high ALCS rating even more impressive.