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Braves’ return to .500 earns second largest TV audience of season


The Braves drew their second-largest local TV audience of the season for Sunday’s series-sweeping win over the Arizona Diamondbacks.

The win, which raised the Braves’ record to .500 for the season, posted a 3.5 Nielsen rating in the Atlanta TV market, translating to an audience of about 84,000 homes for the Fox Sports South telecast.

The only Braves game with a larger local TV audience this season was the April 14 home opener in SunTrust Park, which drew a 5.0 rating (about 120,000 homes).

The three games in the weekend series against Arizona averaged a 2.9 rating locally, the Braves’ second-highest-rated series of the season. The April 14-17 series against San Diego averaged a 3.7 rating.

The viewership this past weekend accelerated a trend from the first half of the season. The Braves averaged a 2.03 rating for 84 Fox Sports South/Fox Sports Southeast telecasts before the All-Star break, up 50 percent from a 1.35 rating at the same point last year.

The increase was the second largest of any Major League Baseball team in the first half of this season, according to SportsBusiness Journal’s midseason analysis of MLB ratings, which showed the New York Yankees had the largest increase at 54 percent.

In their first 11 games this month, the Braves averaged a 2.5 rating, up 92 percent vs. the first 11 games of July 2016 (1.3).

The rating is the number of households, out of every 100 in the market, tuned in on average.

The Braves’ ratings boost this season follows several years of sharp viewership declines amid the team’s on-field teardown/rebuild.

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