This must be bittersweet news for Fox Sports: In their final year as the Dodgers' cable home, the Dodgers are drawing their best cable ratings in history.
With the Dodgers on the verge of clinching the National League West, they are succeeding on and off the field. Among the indices shared Thursday by Major League Baseball:
- The Dodgers lead the major leagues in attendance, on pace to sell 3.7 million tickets. That would be the most for any major league team since the New York Yankees sold 3.77 million in 2010.
- The Dodgers' merchandise sales -- for gear sold via mlb.com -- is up 50% from last season. That is the fifth-largest increase, trailing the Baltimore Orioles (89%), Houston Astros (85%), Oakland Athletics (82%) and Pittsburgh Pirates (55%).
- The Dodgers' ratings on Fox Sports are their highest cable ratings on record. The Dodgers' cable ratings are up 42%, the second-highest increase among U.S. clubs. The cable ratings for the Kansas City Royals are up 71%.
The Dodgers move to the team-owned SportsNet LA channel next season. Time Warner Cable outbid Fox Sports in paying $8.5 billion for the Dodgers' television rights.