According to the information from Nielsen, of the 29 U.S.-based clubs in the league, 12 of them are the #1-rated programming in prime time since the start of the season in their home markets, beating both broadcast and cable competition. These teams include the Detroit Tigers, St. Louis Cardinals, Pittsburgh Pirates, Cincinnati Reds, Cleveland Indians, Milwaukee Brewers, Baltimore Orioles, Kansas City Royals, Seattle Mariners, Boston Red Sox, San Francisco Giants, and Arizona Diamondbacks.And why do the Rays stand to rake in so much more money when their current TV deal expires after the 2016 season?
Another 7 teams rank in the top three in local prime time TV ratings on their respective RSNs, including the Tampa Bay Rays, Minnesota Twins, Philadelphia Phillies, New York Yankees, Atlanta Braves, San Diego Padres, and Colorado Rockies.Most of the teams that weren't mentioned still beat out networks like ESPN, but were in typically-large television markets with multiple teams (incl. Cubs, White Sox, Angles, Mets, A's).
The Rays ranked second, with 79,000 households on average watching each nightly game. Not bad for a team mired in last place most of the first half.
Furthermore, Awful Announcing reports the Rays' television revenues alone would almost cover their 2013 payroll.
AND, the league is already collecting $1.34 from every single subscriber in the US for national MLB contracts.
Lots of money to go around...