Posted September 23, 2013

Astros draw 0.0 Nielsen TV rating in Houston market during loss to Indians

Cleveland Indians, Houston Astros
Carlos Corporan, Astros

Carlos Corporan and the Astros dropped their 105th game of the season on Sunday. (AP)

What if they played a ballgame and nobody watched? Apparently, we have an answer with regards to Sunday’s Indians-Astros contest in Cleveland, at least according to the Nielsen Co. ratings system, and it’s this: The Astros have discovered new ways to lose. Not only can they drop a game to the team they’re playing, but they can draw less local interest than a static football scoreboard or a rerun of The Cosby Show.

According to the Houston Chronicle’s David Barron, Sunday’s game, which started at noon Central Time (1 p.m. Eastern Time in Cleveland) and was broadcast on Comcast SportsNet Houston, received a 0.00 Nielsen rating — a sampling of a small percentage of the TV-watching population. Sunday’s rating came via 581 meters in the Greater Houston area, around half of which were in use by viewers for any 15-minute period during the three-hour bloc between noon and 3 p.m. Meanwhile, 23 percent of households were busy watching the NFL’s Houston Texans lose to the Baltimore Ravens, 1.3 percent were watching a NASCAR race, 0.5 percent were watching a Cosby rerun and 0.16 percent were watching the NFL Network’s screen of football scores.

Those alternatives apparently make for more gripping television than the local nine going down to its 105th defeat of the year, in this case in a road game against a wild-card contender with whom the Astros have very little history. Prior to this year, Houston and Cleveland had played all of 18 games in 16 years of interleague play, with nine wins apiece but no signature moments. Coming into Sunday, the Indians had won five out of six games between the two teams this year, including the first three of their four-game series, one of which went 11 innings and another of which was called after just six and a half innings due to rain.

Perhaps the fact that the Astros scored just one run apiece in each of those three games of varying length was too much for the Houston fans to bear. While they could have seen their team rally for two runs on Sunday — even taking a 2-0 lead into the bottom of the third — the ‘Stros nonetheless gave up nine runs. The good news is that the people not watching were spared the seven pitching changes Indians manager Terry Francona undertook after starter Corey Kluber’s departure prior to the top of the sixth, five of which took place after they had expanded the lead from 3-2 to 7-2 in the bottom of the sixth. C’mon, doesn’t anybody in Houston care whether the Indians have a better lefty specialist than Rich Hill on the roster for the postseason?

34 comments
randomdeletion
randomdeletion

MLB is a joke, I quit watching the sport a few years ago after decades of love and loyalty to the sport and the Astros.  It took a while but I finally came to realize the league does not care one iota about competitive balance and every team having a chance to win.  I won't even watch any reports of what is happening on the news.  I turn the channel as soon as they start talking about baseball.  I just don't care anymore.  

Every year it is the same old crap anyway.  Daily reports on the Yankees, Red Sox, and a couple of other rich teams the league and media care about and the new flash in the pan team that has stars the rich teams will steal as soon as they are free agents and go back to sucking.  Blah blah blah.... what a joke.  It floors me anyone still gives their money to this joke of a league.  Well other than the favored teams of course.  I am sure it is nice when the league is set up to help your franchise have a top chance at a title every year. 

Meanwhile for some completely mind boggling unknown reason fans still give a sh*t in Kansas City and Pittsburgh?  Why?  Seattle?  Oakland?  Cleveland?  Minnesota?  Miami?  San Diego?  Baltimore?  Toronto?  Milwaukee?  Why?  

Even if your team did get good from a strong farm system and developing players, you know what is going to happen.  They will become free agents and sign elsewhere for riches that your team can not afford.  Most teams are basically farm teams for the rich elite teams.  It is a JOKE.  Don't support it.  

AndrewM3
AndrewM3

Marc Rzepczynski is the Lefty specialist for the Cleveland Indians by the way, not Rich Hill. And now you know...

Knowing is half the battle after all.

BudPhyte
BudPhyte

Read recently that Astros will have the largest single season profit in MLB history this year. There's a lot of money to be made in sports if you have low payrolls even if the team is a miserable failure.

IM1RU12
IM1RU12

And to think 7 years ago the Astros were in the world series.  My how times have changed.

robert.bruce.parsons
robert.bruce.parsons

MLB takes a NL team that had a history, and totally disregards that history, sticking them in another league.  Not only that, but puts them in the same division with the ONLY OTHER Texas team, which forces a choice that we didn't have to make before (just imagine someone even suggesting putting the Mets in the AL East, or putting the Cubs in the same division as the White Sox), 

The Astros have always been the step-child of MLB.  Just google the Rusty Staub/Donn Clendenon trade of 1969.  How about a Republican Convention in the Astrodome that put the Astros on a nearly month-long road trip in the heat of a pennant race?  Add a hurricane when the Astros were in their last legitimate pennant run.  MLB re-scheduled the game at the other team's park, and Houston took the red-eye flight, were no-hit, and bumped out of the race.

Bud Seelig wanted Milwaukee back in the NL, and that's what caused the problem.  No, I haven't watched an Astros game this year because I can't bear to see the team I followed for over 40 years treated this way.  In fact, I don't even follow any baseball at all any more.  I was once as big a fan of MLB as anyone, but I would now pick an end-zone seat at a Slippery Rock/Colgate football game over box seats at the World Series.  I will not be back.

I came to the SI site to check up on the latest in College Football, and saw the headline.  I figured it was about the Astros, so I read it.  As far as I'm concerned, Major League Baseball died this year, after a slow, debilitating illness.

beolein
beolein

Again, SI shows no depth or even a grasp of the basics of journalism.  They should have published the actual number of viewers, not just the rating.  Also, they should have noted numbers for Comcast SportsNet Houston, such as how many households get it.

horsley1953
horsley1953

Well, if anyone can beat that record, it will be the Marlins!

ElizbetSwell
ElizbetSwell

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ElevateBaseball
ElevateBaseball

Casual fans will return when the team starts winning.


Many of the diehards, though, who otherwise might still care, don't. Jim Crane traded their loyalty for $65 million when he forced DH ball on what had been for 90+ years either a National League franchise city or a National League minor league affiliate. He callously said we'd get over it. 

In an age when we can actually watch more teams via satellite and his own franchise can't even get on local cable systems, karma will have Jim Crane's callousness for lunch, just wait and see. Houston has lost interest and he only has himself... and his best bud, Mr. Selig... to blame. 

God help us, that the Astros will do what the Oilers did and find some other place to play so that we can recover and get real baseball in south Texas once again.

Sportsfan18
Sportsfan18

Texas has some beautiful women...  I think they need some cheerleaders...

Adrodeal
Adrodeal

Yeah not surprised the Texans were playing at the same time.  I'm a fan, and I think I would rather see them play someone else anyways.

kj4027
kj4027

It's the same thing in Florida. They would be better broadcasting one of the NY teams every week as so many are from the NY area.

larkin.ward
larkin.ward

I would have watched if I'd been home, but I was out and about. I did listen on the radio.

SactoMan81
SactoMan81

What do you expect when the Astros are just awful and the game overlapped the Houston Texans' NFL game?

NickPirce
NickPirce

How many Houston viewers actually have Comcast Sports Houston

UleNotknow
UleNotknow

104 defeats already and the locals are expected to watch? Why should they? Gluttons for punishment they're not. It must have been a painful season.

MervinWright
MervinWright

So does this mean not one person in Houston bothered to watch the Astros?

WHO*IS*ESPN
WHO*IS*ESPN

Maybe the illegals stole all the t.v.'s and no one could watch ?????

Mthdryden07
Mthdryden07

Well also like 2/3s of the city can't watch the game because their cable company doesn't carry it

Rickapolis
Rickapolis

What they aren't telling you is that was a 'Circus Boy' marathon on the cable channel. 

RichMondy
RichMondy

@randomdeletion  Pittsburgh, Oakland, Cleveland are all in postseason play. Didn't catch the Pirates win their wild card spot last night, I take it? The Yankees, the greatest of all offenders as I'm sure you know, didn't make it. The Astros bombed because they spent the least in the league. Talent does have a cost. Don't you expect to be paid based on performance?

pkrplaya
pkrplaya

@randomdeletion seriously you are dumb and seemingly very immature....keep crying because your team is down in the dumps...blame it on MLB because it has nothing to do with your team having poor ownership and/or front office management. I'm a Tigers fan....a decade ago they were the worst team in baseball, now they are one of the best....see how things can change? 

AnthonyP5500
AnthonyP5500

@randomdeletion By a few years ago I'm sure you mean when the Astros lost the 2006 World Series.  They were competitive at the most elite level possible not that long ago.  Unlike the NFL, baseball teams are harder to turn around because of the level of play.  College players cannot just show up and dominate an MLB game, most players spend years in the minor leagues, which means your team, once its tapped for an all or nothing push for the WS, will inevitably have some turnaround time.  The key is not to make all or nothing pushes for the World Series, and maintain being competitive.  Its your owners fault basically for being dumb, and thinking that the short term payoff is worth more than consistently winning.  The MLB playoffs are a crap shoot.  The goal is to get there, you can't expect to spend X dollars and make X trades and win the thing.  Jeff Lunhow, the new GM of the Astros was the architect of the best Cardinal draft classes in recent memory, and we were unfortunate to lose him to that GM job.  The Astros play in the 4th largest city in America.  A winning team there generates plenty of money, so stop whining about the cash, that's not your problem.  In 3 years the Astros will be contending for a post season berth and you'll be pretending like you were always a diehard fan because that's what bandwagoners do.

CooperWetherbee
CooperWetherbee

@randomdeletion Hmmm.  What about the Oakland A's, 27th of 30 MLB teams in payroll yet AL West Champions for the second straight year.  Or the Tampa Bay Rays, who are still holding down a Wild Card spot despite the #28 payroll in the league.  Then you have big-spending teams like the Angels, Phillies, and Yankees not even making the playoffs.  Where is your evidence that only the big market teams can compete and win?

randomdeletion
randomdeletion

@robert.bruce.parsons Well said.  I quit watching baseball a few years ago after 30 years of loyalty to the sport and my team.  MLB is a joke and has no concern for competitive balance and giving every fan base hope their team has a chance.  I am done with MLB and I will not be back.  

As you did I only saw this because it was a link when I came to read about football.  I never ever even click on the mlb link to read about the sport because I really really really don't care anymore.  I am floored that so many do.  MLB could not have made it more apparent they couldn't care less about fans.  

A1
A1

@ElizbetSwell wow, even this is more interesting than the Astros!

Ebullient
Ebullient

@UleNotknow   I'd watch them if I lived in Houston.  I just like baseball, even when my team is sucking hard.  Besides, the Indians are good this year.

Action
Action

@UleNotknow And it is our third straight year to lose 100 games.  I haven't watched an Astros game in years.  I haven't even watched an inning in years.

randomdeletion
randomdeletion

@AnthonyP5500 @randomdeletion Nope..... done.  MLB is a joke, apparently you didn't understand.  If the Astros ever make the world series again, sure I'll watch, but I really won't give much of a sh*t.  

A winning team here never generated the tv revenue of other teams.  Just never happened.  The previous owner did sell out to try and win and depleted the minor leagues.  They almost won and then it was done.  

By the way they won consistently for over a decade.  It was not the one short term post season.  

randomdeletion
randomdeletion

@CooperWetherbee @randomdeletion Huh?  How old are you?  Track back at least 20 years or more.  You mention two teams.  Where will they be in 1-3 years when their players are stolen by the big spenders?  

If you haven't figured out the trend of big spending teams having a chance year in and year out, and the other teams developing players to the point they have a chance for a short window before their best players are stolen by the big spenders then have to start over, I don't know what to tell you because you are not very observant.