Astros grab embarrassingly low TV ratings over weekend

Check out all those people dressed as empty seats in the background.
Check out all those people dressed as empty seats in the background. (USATSI)

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With the Houston Texans in action Sunday, the Astros playing a non-playoff contender in the Angels and the Astros headed for a third straight season of having the worst record in MLB, the circumstances were ripe for the Astros to be largely forgotten in Houston. Saturday, the Astros were competing with college football as the game began during the Alabama-Texas A&M game. So, again, a terrible TV rating was to be expected.

And, boy, was it ever.

Paid attendance was pegged at 21,903 Saturday and 21,374 Sunday, but those are not the turnstile numbers. Judging from pictures and highlights, the number of actual human beings in the stands was significantly lower in both games. As far as the number of people in the Houston area watching the game on TV? Well, it was laughable.

From the Houston Chronicle:

The Astros on Saturday had a record low audience for their game against the Angels on CSN Houston. The game had a 0.04 Nielsen rating, which represents an average audience of about 915 households or about 1,000 viewers on average. The previous low was 0.05 for an Astros-Reds game on Sept. 9, 2012, on Fox Sports Houston, the team’s former carrier.

Sunday’s game did slightly better, with a 0.1 rating and measurable viewership in six quarter-hours.

Those are UFL/XFL type numbers.

It is absolutely worth mention here that Astros games are carried locally on CSN Houston, which is only available in about 40 percent of area households, as it's not carried on DirecTV, Dish Network, AT&T Uverse, Time Warner or Suddenlink Communications.

Still, that's quite a low number for a major professional sporting event -- especially in the fourth-most populous city in the United States.

CBS Sports Writer

Matt Snyder has been a baseball writer with CBS Sports since 2011. A member of the BBWAA, he's now covered every World Series since 2010. The former Indiana University baseball player now lives on the... Full Bio

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