Al Wild Card Game Broadcast: A week after completing a “typical,” six-month, 162-game regular season, Major League Baseball is finalizing its playoff lineup. The New York Yankees were defeated by the Boston Red Sox in the American League, and the Red Sox advanced to the Division Series against the Rays, who won the AL East. In the National League, the Giants triumphed on Sunday to clinch the NL West title, sending the Dodgers, who had finished with 106 wins, into the NL Wild Card game against the Cardinals on Wednesday.
It’s possible that some ghosts from the year 1978 will be prowling about Fenway Park on Tuesday night when the Boston Red Sox take on the New York Yankees in the American League wild-card playoff game of the season.
The tension and drama of a winner-take-all game will be most similar to the one-game playoff for the American League East title that took place 43 years ago. Although the two teams have met previously in the postseason — most recently in the 2018 American League division series and more famously in the 2003 and 2004 American League championship series —
In that game, Yankees shortstop Bucky Dent blasted a go-ahead three-run home ball onto the screen above Fenway Park’s Green Monster in the 163rd inning to lift New York to a 5-4 victory against the Red Sox. The Yankees went on to win the World Series in the next year. The broadcast of the American League wild-card game between the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees reached multi-year highs on ESPN. On the broadcast side, CBS’ FBI franchise maintained its consistent ratings throughout the season, NBC’s La Brea performed well in its second week, and ABC’s Bachelor in Paradise concluded its season with mixed results.
The Voice’s audience was down somewhat from the previous week, but its 7.21 million viewers and 0.87 rating among adults 18-49 made it the most-watched show on broadcast television in primetime. La Brea was the next show to air, attracting 5.05 million viewers (a 20 percent drop from its debut) and a 0.64 rating in the important ad demographic (off by 17 percent). New Amsterdam (2.86 million viewers, 0.3 ratings) brought NBC’s night to a conclusion.
FBI drew a total of 6.71 million viewers and a 0.59 rating in the 18-49 demographic on CBS. FBI: International (6.08 million, 0.53) had a little increase over the previous week, while FBI: Most Wanted (5.65 million, 0.53) remained relatively stable.
Bachelor in Paradise concluded the season with 2.9 million viewers and a 0.75 in adults 18-49, a small increase in viewers but a tiny decrease in people 18-49 from the previous week. With the departure of Emily VanCamp’s character from The Resident, Fox’s The Resident (3.11 million, 0.48) had a little increase in viewers, while Our Kind of People (1.43 million, 0.3) saw a slight decrease.
The American League wild-card game had a combined audience of 7.69 million people on ESPN (7.12 million) and ESPN2 (573,000), the highest for any wild card game since 2015. It was also the most-watched wild-card game on ESPN since 1998, and it was up 67 percent over the last time ESPN and ESPN2 broadcasted the American League wild-card game in 2019. (4.54 million).
The National League Wild Card game between the Dodgers and Cardinals will be played on Wednesday in Los Angeles at Dodger Stadium, with the victor moving on to face the Giants in the National League Divisional Series, which will be played in San Francisco. The first pitch will take place on TBS on Wednesday at 8:10 p.m. (5:10 p.m. PT). Max Scherzer, who was acquired by the Los Angeles Dodgers at the trade deadline, will start against veteran Cardinal Adam Wainwright.