Astros game earns a 0.0 in Nielsen ratings

Houston Astros game earns a 0.0 in the Nielsen ratings

4/9/14 in MLB   |   JoeKukura   |   492 respect

Blog Photo - Astros game earns a 0.0 in Nielsen ratingsThe Nielsen TV ratings were less-than astronomical for a recent Houston Astros game. When the Astros played the Los Angeles Angels on Monday at Minute Maid Park in Houston, the game registered a 0.0 in the Nielsen ratings. This is a baseball team in a top ten television market that Nielsen estimates has 2.3 million households with television sets.

It's not unprecedented to earn a 0.0 Nielsen rating, but it typically happens at about 3 a.m. Tons of shows get 0.0 Nielsen ratings, but those are the ones broadcast at oddball hours. A few late-night scores and highlights shows on NBA TV or the really granular ESPN spin-off channels occasionally get a 0.0. But not a Major League Baseball game pitting two top-ten market teams.

The Houston Astros got a 0.0 in the Nielsen ratings in the Houston market for their home game against the Angels Monday, according to the Houston Chronicle. The game was broadcast on Comcast SportsNet Houston. I'll say in the Astros'  defense that it was a 1:10 p.m. game on a Monday afternoon. And there was a reported attendance of 17,936, which some MLB teams would kill for.
Blog Photo - Astros game earns a 0.0 in Nielsen ratings
Even the game's pregame show at least scored a 0.2 in the Nielsen ratings.

If there's anything worse than a 0.0 Nielsen rating, it's a second 0.0 Nielsen rating. A Houston-Cleveland game on CSN Houston last September also drew a 0.0. But that game was up against a Texans NFL game, and the Texans were still 2-0 at the time.

0.0 does not mean that no one watched a broadcast. The double goose-egg means that the viewership did not meet Nielsen's "minimum reporting thresholds" for assigning a rating. And Nielsen ratings are based on the behavior of (on this particular day) 579 households with Nielsen boxes. Their numbers are then extrapolated and assigned into Nielsen ratings. A rating of 0.0 is the worst possible, but it is not a true indication that no one watched the broadcast.

There are surely better days ahead for the Houston Astros franchise. I am not sure there are better days ahead for Comcast SportsNet Houston, though. A federal bankruptcy judge placed the channel in Chapter 11 last month.
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