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Royals lead MLB in highest local TV ratings, highest for any team since 2002

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Royals fans like watching Royals baseball

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Fox Sports Kansas City announced a record season of Royals baseball, with ratings for the year at an all-time high of 12.3. It is the highest local rating by a regional sports network in all of baseball, and the highest rating for any market since 2002. Viewership rose 84% over last year's record-setting season.

Royals baseball destroyed the competition on prime time on other channels over the summer. Prime time games got a rating of 13.0, compared to 5.5 for KCTV 5, the CBS-affiliate who had the second-highest prime time ratings in Kansas City over the baseball season. The highest-rated game was the April 26 game in Chicago, following the benches-clearing brawl the night before. The most-watched moment was on September 24 when the Royals clinched their first Central Division title. At the conclusion of that game, 213,000 households were tuned in for a 23.1 rating.

Television ratings for baseball are up all around with both FOX and Fox Sports One enjoying an increase in ratings over 20 percent. The Cardinals, Tigers, Diamondbacks, Padres, and Rays all were ratings winners over the summer in their respective markets on their regional sports networks. Just last night, the Astros/Yankees Wild Card was the highest-rated Wild Card game ever and was the highest-rated baseball game on ESPN in twelve years.

The Royals are locked into a long-term deal with Fox Sports Kansas City that runs through the 2019 season. The deal, signed back in 2008, reportedly brings in $20 million in revenue, one of the lowest-paying television contracts in baseball. Even Fox Sports Kansas City has not benefited much from the increased viewership, having signed advertising deals before the huge ratings increase.