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October 10, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

High-profile sports events increasingly make cable-TV networks competitive with broadcast network programming, recent ratings results suggest. For example, if cable network TBS had been a broadcast network, it would have ranked third Thursday night with its coverage of the American League playoff game between the New York Yankees and the Detroit Tigers. The network attracted 9.72 million viewers — the largest audience ever to watch a divisional playoff game on cable — behind only CBS with 11.7 million and Fox, with 11.2 million. The big ratings for the MLB game may have come at the expense of all broadcast networks, whose ratings were down substantially from a year ago. (The exception was Fox’s The X Factor, which continues to outdraw the shows it replaced, albeit not on the triumphant scale that originally had been predicted. On Saturday baseball proved to be a ratings winner for Fox with Game 1 of the American League Championship Series between the Detroit Tigers and the Texas Rangers averaging 6.2 million viewers, well ahead of ABC’s coverage of the Ohio State-Nebraska college football contest, which averaged 5.1 million viewers. CBS, with 4.4 million viewers, and NBC with 3.68 million, ranked third and fourth, respectively.