ESPN delivered significant viewership increases for its MLB Summer Camp exhibition baseball game telecasts on July 18-19, according to Nielsen. The Chicago White Sox at Chicago Cubs game telecast on July 19, delivered an average audience of 525,000 viewers, which is a 64 percent increase over the average of ESPN’s four MLB spring training telecasts that aired in March, according to Nielsen.
The White Sox vs. Cubs game is the second-most watched MLB exhibition game telecast since 2012 across any network, despite the local Chicago market being subject to blackout restrictions. Since 2012, it only trails ESPN’s presentation of the Tampa Bay Rays exhibition game in Cuba on March 22, 2016, which drew 863,000 viewers.
Additionally, ESPN2’s New York Yankees vs. New York Mets game telecast generated an average audience of 410,000 viewers on July 18, which is 28 percent higher than the average of ESPN’s four MLB spring training telecasts from March. The Yankees vs. Mets game was also subject to local blackout restrictions in the New York market.
ESPN’s 2020 regular-season MLB coverage opens this Thursday, July 23, when the defending World Series Champion Washington Nationals host the New York Yankees at 7 p.m. ET, followed by the San Francisco Giants visiting the Los Angeles Dodgers at 10 p.m. It begins a seven game stretch across four days to open the season.