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Reds TV Ratings Drop For Short Coronavirus Season

Atlanta Braves' Ronald Acuna Jr. dives back to first base as Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto reaches for the pick-off throw during the first inning in Game 2 of a National League wild-card baseball series, Thursday, Oct. 1, 2020 in Atlanta.
Atlanta Braves' Ronald Acuna Jr. dives back to first base as Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto reaches for the pick-off throw during the first inning in Game 2 of a National League wild-card baseball series, Thursday, Oct. 1, 2020 in Atlanta.

TV ratings for the Cincinnati Reds' COVID-shortened season dropped 9% – or much more – from 2019.

The 60 games telecast July through September averaged a 4.67 household rating, "down 9 percent to their 2019 average," according to Kate Zalesko, Fox Sports Ohio communications and social media director.

However, Forbes magazine reports that the Reds were "down 18 percent with a 4.67 rating compared to 5.72 last season."

Interest was especially high when the Reds finally opened the season July 24, after nearly a four-month delay due to the global coronavirus pandemic which has killed more than 210,000 Americans.

Opening Day – the Detroit Tigers-Reds game simulcast by WKRC-TV  on Friday July 24 – drew a whopping 15.17 household rating. The next seven cable-only games (July 25-31) averaged a 7.14 household rating, Zalesko says.

The late eight regular season games in September, as the Reds fought for the second National League wild card, drew a 5.6 household rating, 20% over the season average, she says.

The Reds' 4.67 season rating was fifth among all Major League Baseball teams this year.  The Cleveland Indians were first with a 6.61 household ratings.  

Who finished second, third and fourth?  "The others I am not able to share," says Zelasko, who works for the regional sports networked owned by Sinclair Broadcast Group.

The top five rated Red games were:

July 24:Opening Day, Tigers at Reds, 15.17 rating (simulcast with WKRC-TV)

July 25:Tigers at Reds, 8.05

July 26:Tigers at Reds, 7.14

Sept. 23: Brewers at Reds, 6.91

Aug. 2:Reds at Tigers (second game of doubleheader), 6.79

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