Royals’ TV ratings drop but remain among baseball’s best

Ryan Lefebvre (left) with his current broadcast mate Rex Hudler
Ryan Lefebvre (left) with his current broadcast mate Rex Hudler

Are you still watching the Royals?

As the All-Star Game approaches, television ratings are about half of what they were last season. The 2017 Royals averaged an 8.0 household rating for the entire season, second among local markets in baseball. They topped baseball in 2016, coming off the World Series championship season.

Through games of July 8, the Royals averaged a 4.7 household rating on Fox Sports Kansas City, according to Nielsen Media Research. That’s the percentage of Kansas City’s approximately 900,000 TV households. At the same time a year ago, the Royals averaged a 7.7 household rating.

Hey, the team stands 26-65 after Wednesday’s 8-5 loss at Minnesota. Viewership was bound to drop.

What’s interesting is the Royals remain in the top five among 29 baseball teams in local market ratings (except Toronto, because Nielsen doesn’t track Canadian viewership trends).

The top five through July 8: Cardinals, Indians, Red Sox, Brewers and Royals. Three are leading their division and the Cardinals are a handful of games over .500.

Kansas City Royals second baseman Whit Merrifield turned in a five for five performance, for the first time in his career, during Sunday's July 8, 2018 game against the Boston Red Sox.

As they’ve been for the past few seasons, the Royals remain the top-ranked program during prime time in the Kansas City market.

Perhaps it’s the drawing power of players like Salvador Perez, Mike Moustakas and Alex Gordon, but their 2018 rating is higher than any season-long rating for the Royals before 2013, when they posted their first winning record in a decade. The Royals’ cable package started in 1997.