Even MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow Beat NBA, MLB Opening Night Ratings

Getty Images_Ashley Landis
Getty Images/Ashley Landis

The bad news continues for the return of pro sports: The entire Fox News lineup – and even MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow – beat the NBA and MLB opening night broadcasts.

For an overview, Fox News was the big winner when it came to average number of viewers in the month of July.

Hannity, Fox News – 4.1M
Tucker Carlson, Fox News – 4M
Ingraham Angle, Fox News – 3.4M
Rachel Maddow, MSNBC – 3.3M
The Five, Fox News – 3.3M

On July 24th, when Major League Baseball resumed its season, many thought that the long-awaited return of the nation’s pastime would bring with it rich rewards for MLB’s broadcast partners.

That turned out to be true, in a sense, but MLB still got beaten decisively by cable news programming.

As Outkick explains, “July 24, MLB returned to large ratings. But its 3.4 million average fell short of Hannity (4.3M), Carlson (4M), and Maddow (3.6); all three drew close to normal viewership. (The Five, as non-head-to-head airing, too topped MLB with 3.6M viewers.)”

Getting their lunch stolen by The Five, has to be especially displeasing to MLB. Not because The Five isn’t a great show. Though, it airs at 5 PM EST, an especially challenging time slot with lots of local TV competition and likely viewers in transit from work to home.

Things did not improve for the sports leagues a week later when the NBA made its return, it only got worse.

“Last Thursday, the NBA’s highly-discussed return also didn’t bother primetime news,” Outkick reports. “The NBA’s restart — two games — opened to 2.75 million viewers. It lost to several cable news shows that aired directly against it: Tucker Carlson Tonight, 4 million; Hannity, 3.8 million; the Ingraham Angle; 3 million, Rachel Maddow Show, 3 million. (Earlier in the day, The Five, at 3.2 million, outperformed the NBA.)”

CNBC reports the NBA average viewership on opening night to be 2.9 million. However, whether 2.75 or 2.9, the NBA not only bent the knee for the anthem, they also bent the knee to Rachel Maddow.

Many in the sports media assumed that sports fans have been starving for their sports. However, on opening night, the ratings show that cable news has more fans than either pro baseball or basketball. Indeed, Sean Hannity and Tucker Carlson seem to have more fans than both leagues combined.

Baseball debuted with nearly all players and coaches kneeling in protest during the national anthem. In addition, MLB stenciled Black Lives Matter on pitcher’s mounds at every stadium during opening week.

As to the NBA, players have hit the boards wearing Black Lives Matter shirts, kneeling during the anthem, and having Black Lives Matter emblazoned on the court directly above the NBA logo.

The NBA and MLB showed the world during their opening games that they’re more concerned with politics than sports. If they had been more concerned with providing fans an escape from their problems and the ability to enjoy the games they love, maybe Rachel Maddow wouldn’t be kicking their butts.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Facebook at: facebook.com/Warner.Todd.Huston.


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