Royals

Even with no playoffs, fans made Royals baseball’s second highest-rated team on TV

Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer, third baseman Mike Moustakas and left fielder Alex Gordon stand with young fans for the playing of the national anthem before a game at Kauffman Stadium.
Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer, third baseman Mike Moustakas and left fielder Alex Gordon stand with young fans for the playing of the national anthem before a game at Kauffman Stadium. jsleezer@kcstar.com

No playoff season, but Kansas City still loved watching the Royals.

The Royals on Fox Sports Kansas City finished with the second-highest local-market television rating among major-league teams, posting an average of 8.46, or 78,000 households per game, in the Kansas City market.

Only Cleveland, which ran away with the American League Central Division championship, owned a higher local rating, at 9.22.

The Royals were baseball’s top local-market draw each of the past two seasons.

Can good numbers translate to a more lucrative television contract, providing additional revenue for payroll? Perhaps, but not before this year’s class of free agents — Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas and Lorenzo Cain, among others — hits the market.

The Royals’ contract with Fox Sports runs through the 2019 season, and The Star reported in May that preliminary discussions for a new deal have begun.

Forbes measured baseball broadcasts and reported 12 teams ranked first in their local markets in prime time during the season, topping the prime-time average of all other networks in those markets.

Baseball’s top five local-market draws: Cleveland, Kansas City, St. Louis, Boston and Baltimore.

Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas, Lorenzo Cain and Alcides Escobar are all free agents this winter, after helping push the KC Royals from the bottom of baseball to the top. Here are some of the moments that made them the core of the 2015 World Series c

Blair Kerkhoff: 816-234-4730, @BlairKerkhoff

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