The Houston Astros pulled in a record-low television audience for their series opener against the Angels on Saturday, grabbing a Nielsen rating that suggests only a thousand people tuned in to the game, reports Dave Barron of the Houston Chronicle.
The Nielsen rating -- 0.04 -- represents an average of roughly 915 households or about 1,000 viewers, which is 567 times fewer viewers than tuned in for the Texans-Titans game the next day. Saturday's dismal TV audience is actually only slightly worse than the club's previous low, which was a 0.05 rating for their Sept. 9, 2012 game against the Reds.
While it's easy to point the finger at Houston's performance this year (and the full slate of college football games) as the primary reason behind the lack of audience, there's plenty more at play.
The Astros (and NBA's Rockets) entered a lucrative new TV deal with CSN Houston this season -- switching over from Fox Sports -- but so far are broadcasting games to just 40 percent of the estimated 2.2 million people in the local market, per the Houston Chronicle. Several carriers, including AT&T, DirecTV, Dish Network, and Time Warner Cable, are not carrying the network because of disputes over the carriage fees with channel's owners -- one of whom is the Astros. As one can imagine, this has made it difficult for fans to watch the team.
Houston pulled a slightly larger audience for it's Sunday match-up with the Halos, coming in with a 0.1 rating.