Competing with playoff baseball didn’t seem to hinder the St. Louis Blues in the first month of the season, as the team earned their highest TV ratings ever to begin a season.
Blues telecasts, which are aired live on Fox Sports Midwest, averaged a 3.5 household rating in St. Louis in the month of October, according to Nielson Media Research. That number is 13 percent higher than the Blues’ previous best October rating, which was posted in 1997.
According to the St. Louis Business Journal, the 3.5 rating means that, at any given time during a Blues game, 44,000 TV households were turned to the action on Fox Sports Midwest.
This year’s October ratings are up 94 percent from October 2011, which posted a 1.8 rating. The Blues were most popular amongst males aged 18-49, according to Nielson.
The Blues have been televised on Fox Sports Midwest for 18 seasons. Never have they had these kinds of numbers to begin the season. What makes these numbers more impressive is the fact that the Blues were essentially competing with the St. Louis Cardinals for viewers.
The Blues played on the same day as the Cardinals on five separate occasions. On two of those occasions, the Blues and Cardinals were televised at the same time, including Game 6 of the National League Championship Series, in which the Cardinals clinched a World Series appearance, and Game 3 of the World Series against the Boston Red Sox.
The Cardinals went all the way to the World Series, which took place at the end of October, so the Blues’ opening month took a backseat to the Cardinals’ postseason run, but TV ratings for the Blues remained surprisingly strong.
The Blues got off to a 7-1-2 record in October. New additions such as forwards Derek Roy and Brenden Morrow likely helped to spark interest in the team. The club’s success over the past two seasons has helped build up an audience and following for the team, as well.
TV ratings for a smaller market team like the Blues are very telling. It’s obvious that St. Louis has a substantial level of interest in the team. St. Louis has always been a baseball town, but the fact that Cardinals postseason baseball didn’t damage the Blues’ TV ratings is a good sign.
Since owner Tom Stillman took over the team in 2012, he has been trying to implement new strategies to market the team. Stillman’s main focus is getting fans into Scottrade Center for games, but he has to be pleased with the new ratings. With the Cardinal’s season over, one would think that more fans will turn their focus to the Blues.