It's no secret that the Houston Astros are historically bad. They were almost as bad last year, when they lost 107 games (they're on pace to lose 109 this year). The year before that, they lost 106. They'll likely be on the same track next year.
But it's still a Major League Baseball team in a major U.S. market — one that should be able to draw a measurable Nielsen rating. But that wasn't the case on Sunday, when the Astros drew a 0.0 rating.
That means that not a single measured household tuned in to watch the Astros lose 9-2 in Cleveland.
In Houston's defense, Nielsen operates on the assumption that it can use hundreds of viewers to measure the behavior of millions. For example, the Houston Chronicle reports that Nielsen had 581 meters in Houston on Sunday, and in any given 15-minute span between noon and 3 p.m., about half of those were in use.
But not a single one was tuned into the Astros.
The Astros were outdrawn in Houston by NASCAR, two WNBA games, the Brewers-Cardinals matchup and NHRA Drag Racing. Again in Houston's defense, the Texans were playing at the same time (they were watched by about 526,000 households), and an MLB team will rarely beat an NFL team head-to-head within its market — especially one that's lost at least 100 games for three straight seasons.
But still, a 0.0? Impressive, Houston. Impressive.