Astros Lost In Local TV Ratings To Out-Of-Market WNBA Game

On Saturday, the Astros set an all-time low for viewership in the Houston area, with an average of 915 households tuning in for Houston's loss to the Angels. That's sad, but this is sadder.

According to a source with access to the detailed Nielsen figures, the Astros game drew an average of 1,000 viewers locally over the three-plus hour broadcast. A Sky-Lynx WNBA game on NBA TV, which went head-to-head with the Astros game for more than two hours, was seen by an average of 1,500 viewers in the Houston market.

It's as painful as it is empirical: More Houstonians watched a women's basketball game between Chicago and Minnesota than watched the Houston Astros.

Here's our earlier story on the ratings.

An Astros Game Had Just 1,000 TV Viewers

Houstonians apparently had better things to do than watch the Astros Saturday night. Like, anything at all.

Just incredible Nielsen averages from the Astros' home loss to Anaheim, passed along by the Chronicle:

The game had a 0.04 Nielsen rating, which represents an average audience of about 915 households or about 1,000 viewers on average.

A thousand viewers! And that's even counting the ones who fell asleep with their TVs on! Reassuringly for the Astros, this is a record low and not the norm. Less reassuringly, it's not a record by much. Just last year, the Astros pulled a woeful 0.05 rating. I wrote at the time that figures could only go up from there. Mea culpa.

The Astros are part-owners of CSN Houston, which somewhat inexplicably pays the team $80 million annually to broadcast games. That's more than all but six other teams.


It's a lost season for the Astros, and the weather is cooling down, and there was a Dynamo game on at the time, and CSN Houston isn't available in many households. It happens. I'm just worried about Sept. 29th, when the Astros go up against the Texans game.