Leadoff: Final numbers show Braves’ TV ratings up, but still low


Good morning. This is LEADOFF, an early look at Atlanta sports. 

The Braves posted the second largest percentage increase among MLB teams in local television ratings this season, but their TV audience had fallen so far the previous three years that their ratings remained below most teams’ despite the rally. 

According to a review of local ratings for all 30 MLB teams published this week by SportsBusiness Journal, the Braves’ games on Fox Sports South and Fox Sports Southeast averaged a 1.81 rating this season in the Atlanta TV market. 

That was up 55 percent from a lowly 1.17 in 2016, a bigger percentage increase than any team except the New York Yankees (up 57 percent). But it was still 38 percent below the average rating of 2.91 by the 30 MLB teams. 

The Braves’ games drew an average TV audience of about 44,000 households in the Atlanta market. That was up from an average of about 28,000 in the 2016 season – but far below the average of 97,000 in 2013, the last season in which the Braves had a winning record (and won the NL East championship). 

So even with this year’s ratings rally, the Braves’ teardown/rebuild continued to cost them more than half of their local TV audience from 2013. 

The Cleveland Indians had MLB’s highest local ratings this season, 8.33, according to SportsBusiness Journal’s study. 

The Braves’ TV audience slid in the second half of the season after averaging a 2.0 rating before the All-Star break

The Braves reached the break with a 42-45 record but finished the season 72-90, their third consecutive season of 90 or more losses. 

The rating represents the number of households out of every 100 in the market that watched on average.

ICYMI ...

The Dolphins will bring the NFL’s lowest-ranked offense to Atlanta for Sunday’s game against the Falcons. See D. Orlando Ledbetter’s story here.

If the Braves are serious about cleaning up the mess from the scandal that envelopes the team, they’ll make changes at the top, Jeff Schultz writes. See his column here.

The keys to Georgia Tech’s chances of upsetting Mark Richt-coached Miami on Saturday? Ken Sugiura lists them here.


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