One day the Astros may very well be a slick-fielding, power-hitting machine that demands the attention of every Houston sports fan.
This is not that day.
Deadspin reports a surprising number of fans watched the Houston Astros drop their game on Saturday to the Los Angeles Angels, 6-2.
UPDATE: Monday, September 23, 2013 at 4:40 p.m. ET by Gabe Zaldivar
It seems the Houston Astros still can't seem to get anyone to watch them lose. The Houston Chronicle reports Sunday's 9-2 loss to the Indians drew a remarkable 0.0 Nielsen rating.
For the first time in the Astros’ history as one of the first Major League Baseball teams to distribute their games over cable, they played a game Sunday afternoon and, according to Nielsen, nobody watched.
As the report notes, this comes with usual Nielsen caveats—most notably the fact the ratings provide a look at hundreds of viewer's habits and extrapolate them out. Still, a goose egg of a rating is still astonishing to see.
End of Update---
However, we aren't amazed at how many caught the game, rather the shocking part is how few Houston denizens flipped on the television to suffer through loss number 97 of 99.
The Houston Chronicle reports depressing news in regard to the game's local ratings. While the Houston Texans garnered a solid 24.8 Nielsen rating for KHOU, the Astros met far more meager ends.
At the other end of the spectrum in the most literal sense of the phrase, the Astros on Saturday had a record low audience for their game against the Angels on CSN Houston. The game had a 0.04 Nielsen rating, which represents an average audience of about 915 households or about 1,000 viewers on average. The previous low was 0.05 for an Astros-Reds game on Sept. 9, 2012, on Fox Sports Houston, the team’s former carrier.
But hey, Sunday's game pulled a whopping 0.1 rating, so champagne all around.
The Astros are in the midst of a trying season in which they are rebuilding both their roster and their brand as an American League franchise.
Through 2013, the team has posted a .243 batting average (25th in the majors), .302 on-base percentage (28th), 4.81 ERA (30th) and 1.50 WHIP (30th).
The club now sits on 99 losses and will assuredly rocket past that century mark with the likes of the Indians and Rangers looming on the schedule.
Still, the salt in the wound has to be knowing a WNBA game completely annihilated Saturday's contest in the ratings.
Now, the 1,000 viewers is merely an average, but a follow-up report by Deadspin cites a source who reveals that, over the three-hour course of the game, a WNBA clash did far better than the Astros.
According to a source with access to the detailed Nielsen figures, the Astros game drew a total of 48,800 households 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 viewed by a total of 49,800 households in the Houston market.
The Astros are now getting beat on the basketball court.
Chin up, Astros fans. Watching a franchise rebuild is always a messy enterprise. The team will once again boast sluggers and an ace staff that will make summer viewing pleasurable.
Until then, enjoy catching up on all the latest WNBA action.
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