TV ratings spike for Cole's Pirates debut
Pirates prized pitcher Gerrit Cole not only produced a quality start in his debut Tuesday, but he also increased television ratings and ticket sales.
Root Sports general manager Shawn McClintock said Cole's first start drew a 10.06 Nielsen rating, which was the eighth-highest rating for a local-market telecast in Pirates history. McClintock said the rating equates to 315,000 viewers. It was the highest-rated Pirates' local-market telecast on record for a game played in the first half of a season. Records date to the mid-1990s.
McClintock said the game's television rating marked a 25 percent increase over average ratings for a telecast this season.
The Pirates' No. 1-rated prospect also generated ticket sales.
The Pirates drew a crowd of 30,614 on Tuesday for his debut, a significant spike in midweek ticket sales. The following night, the Pirates announced an attendance of 19,930.
A Groupon.com ticket special contributed to tickets sold Tuesday, but Cole's promotion played a significant role in the sales; 18,000 tickets had been sold prior to the announcement of his call-up Saturday. In three days after his call-up announcement, the Pirates sold 12,000 tickets.
The Pirates played three other Tuesday games at PNC Park this season, announcing an attendance of 12,973 vs. the Mariners on May 7; 11,556 vs. the Brewers on May 14; and 16,092 vs. the Cubs on May 21.
The interest in Cole's start — as judged by percentage of tickets sold at PNC Park— was greater than that of Stephen Strasburg's debut in 2010. Strasburg debuted on a Tuesday, and the Nationals sold 40,315 tickets. The Nationals sold 27,202 the following night. That's a 32.5 percent decline. The Pirates' attendance decline from Tuesday to Wednesday was 34.9 percent.
Cole makes his second start Sunday. The game is close to selling out.
Travis Sawchik is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at email@example.com or via Twitter @Sawchik_Trib.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Pirates acquire infielder from Indians, designate Axford, Gomez for assignment
- Pirates to end spring in Philadelphia again, sign Stinson to minor league deal
- Pirates face mound of decisions in offseason
- Pirates bench coach Jeff Banister named Rangers manager