The Bryce Harper era is already off to a promising start. Harper may not have lit up the box score during his spring debut with the Philadelphia Phillies, but he still set a record just by showing up.
Harper’s spring debut Saturday was the most streamed Phillies spring training game of all-time, according to NBC Sports Philadelphia.
On digital, the game on Saturday delivered 13.5K uniques and 546K live stream minutes, making it the most-streamed Phillies Spring Training game ever. The game was up 108% among uniques, and 154% among minutes compared to the 2019 Spring Training streaming average.
The contest was also the highest-rated Phillies spring training game in years.
The network earned a 2.9 HH rating, up 311% over this year’s Spring Training average. NBCSP was the #1 network in the market across all key demographics and was the highest-rated Phillies Spring Training game since April 2012. Harper was the designated hitter, and the game peaked with a 4.0 HH Rating when he took his first at-bat.
It was also a sellout. Over 10,000 fans paid to see Harper play.
Harper may not have played a real game with the Phillies yet, but he’s already made a significant impact on the team’s fans. Ticket and jersey sales exploded in the days following Harper’s signing. Turns out, fans like it when teams pay for great players.
If Phillies fans were willing to do all that for a spring game, Harper’s regular season debut should be quite the event. We’re not saying the city of Philadelphia should throw a parade in his honor before opening day, but we’re not opposed to the idea either.
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