Chicago Cubs’ Kris Bryant, left, celebrates with teammates in their locker room after a 4-0 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates in the National League wild card baseball game Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2015, in Pittsburgh. The Cubs advance to face the St. Louis Cardinals in the National League Division Series. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
NEW YORK (AP) — The Chicago Cubs’ return to the playoffs has drawn the largest television audience in the short history of baseball’s wild-card game.
The Cubs’ 4-0 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Wednesday night in the NL wild-card game on TBS averaged 8.3 million viewers, topping the previous high of 7.6 million set a night earlier for the Astros’ win over the Yankees in the AL game on ESPN.
The viewership is up 48 percent from the 5.6 million for last year’s NL game between the Giants and Pirates on ESPN and 60 percent from the 5.2 million for the AL game on TBS between small-market Kansas City and Oakland.
It’s the most for a Major League Baseball game on cable since the 2011 NL Division Series between the Cardinals and Phillies.
Baseball added the wild-card round in 2012. Including Canadian coverage on Sportsnet, the average audience of 8.67 million was up 47 percent over last year.
Major League Baseball said there also were 1.9 million unique digital sessions.
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