Phillies: Bryce Harper’s debut most watched spring game since 2012
The Phillies drew their best rating for a spring training game in seven years when Bryce Harper made his debut with the team.
It’s pretty obvious that the city of Philadelphia has become far more engaged with the Phillies since they signed Bryce Harper. Demand for tickets went through the roof once the signing was reported and his jersey became the highest-selling launch for any jersey on Fanatics.
When Harper made his debut Saturday, many were ready to see him play his first game with the team. So many, in fact, that it became the highest-rated spring training game for the team since April 2, 2012.
A press release from NBC Sports Philadelphia stated that the network drew a rating of 2.9, which was up more than 300% from the average this year. It also stated that they had 13,500 unique viewers streaming the game, doubling their average.
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When Harper took his first at-bat in the bottom of the first inning, the ratings topped out at 4.0. They watched Harper draw the first of two walks he collected and likely stuck around to watch Rhys Hoskins drive him home with a monster home run. It could soon become a regular occasion.
Harper already got into his second game with the club Monday and will play two more games this week, including a Wednesday night matchup with the Yankees. That game could draw similarly high ratings in the evening time slot, especially since they won’t be competing with the Flyers or Sixers.
The high ratings for Harper’s debut is likely a sign of things to come later this season.
Attendance is already expected to increase significantly thanks to the rise in ticket sales. The TV and live stream ratings will likely also increase thanks to Harper and the other acquisitions made by the team.
The team got a billion dollar TV deal a few years back from NBC Sports, and the signing of Harper will make it more than worth it for the network.