The St. Louis Cardinals are the best market in baseball when it comes to fans watching games on television. It’s not a surprise at all to see the Cards top local markets for baseball ratings given the popularity of the franchise.
It gives the Best Fans in Baseball another meaning according to the Nielsen data in the report. The Year in Sports Media report for 2013 found that the Cardinals topped them all when it came down to the percent of the population that watched, attended, or listened to Cardinals games in the calendar year. With 76% of the St. Louis population watching on TV, they beat out the #2 Cincinnati Reds (69%) by 7%. Keep in mind that the Reds and Pittsburgh Pirates made it to the postseason to play each other in the Wild Card game.
In local household ratings, the Detroit Tigers led all with a 9.6 while Cardinals games averaged an 8.7 rating for second place.
After the Cardinals and Reds, the top local fan bases were the Tigers (68%), Boston Red Sox (66%), and Milwaukee Brewers (65%).
The overall numbers are not surprising for the Cardinals. What I found surprising, in looking at the data, was that none of the New York or Los Angeles teams were in the top five markets. At the same time, it probably is not a surprise given that multiple sports franchises will split the viewership.