The Tampa Bay Rays have always been a great television product, and this year having a competitive team in the AL East has helped their case.
The Rays are contenders, and have started acting like it by adding top notch defensive SS Adeiny Hechavarria in a trade completed Monday afternoon.
Hechavarria made his debut last night in Pittsburgh on a busy night in the local television market, and the Tampa Bay community was tuned in:
The Rays ranked 13th in the US among baseball teams last season, according to the Nielsen ratings for 2016, which showed a drop in their overall position due to a poor run of things in the second half.
The Rays finished the season with the fourth worst record in MLB last year, but still averaged a score of 2.9% HH overall (55,000 households), down from 3.15% HH (57,000 households) at the All-Star break last season. This was a drop from the 2015 season that saw a rating of 4.12 HH (78,000 households), and the 2014 season of 4.32 HH (82,000 households).
Despite the decline in numbers the last two seasons, the Rays have remained in the top half of teams for ratings, and given their No. 1 overall rating on a Tuesday night, look to be climbing back up to where they’ve typically been.
First half ratings from Nielsen are typically released around the All-Star Game in July, but in the meantime: Let this serve as another reminder that the Rays are well loved in the Tampa Bay area, despite attendance concerns or calls to contract the team.