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Royals local television ratings remain steady despite mounting losses

Are you guys just tuning in to see Rex Hudler?

MLB: Detroit Tigers at Kansas City Royals Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

The Royals have lost 207 games over the last two seasons, but fans continue to tune in with steady ratings, according to numbers provided by Maury Brown at Forbes. The Royals still ranked ninth in the league in local television ratings, averaging a 4.66 in prime time games, with 42,000 viewers per night. The numbers represent a slight decline of 5 percent over 2018’s numbers, but the 2018 numbers fell over 40 percent from their 2017 ratings.

Despite that drop, the Royals continue to be the most-watched show in Kansas City. The Royals were one of twelve teams whose games were the top-ranked show in prime time in their market over the summer. The Royals had a higher television rating than successful teams like the Braves, Rays, and Nationals (as well as Dodgers, although they have distribution problems in their market). Ratings are a percentage of market size, but the Royals attracted more total eyeballs, on average, than the Texas Rangers, Chicago White Sox, or Oakland Athletics.

Royals local television ratings

Year Rating MLB rank Households
Year Rating MLB rank Households
2014 7.15 4th 67,000
2015 12.88 1st 120,000
2016 11.44 1st 105,000
2017 8.46 2nd 78,000
2018 4.89 6th 44,000
2019 4.66 9th 42,000

Source: Forbes magazine

The Royals just finished their last year under a long-term contract with Fox Sports Kansas City and are currently in talks on a new deal that could pay them $48-52 million per year, a sharp increase over the $20-25 million per year they were receiving under their old deal.

Overall, local ratings for MLB teams were up 2 percent, with 13 of 29 regional sports networks seeing ratings bumps this year. The San Diego Padres and Minnesota Twins both saw the largest increases, likely due to an aggressive off-season for both clubs, and a successful season for the Twins. The Indians had the highest local television ratings, followed by the Twins and Cardinals. The Marlins had the lowest television ratings, with an average of just 15,000 viewers tuning in.