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Major League Baseball's Worst Nightmare

Categories: ',TV Ratings

Written By

October 6th, 2007

Ratings are up but other than Boston the wrong teams are winning 

A Bug’s Life

I'm not referring to the horror movie aspects of the Yankees/Indians game where they happened to wind up playing on the one day a year that the flying ant larvae hatched and took over Cleveland's Jacob's Field.  Although being able to see, in rich detail in crystal clear high definition the bugs all over Yankee relief pitcher Joba Chamberlain's neck was a bit horrifying.

The ratings were up for the first night slightly versus last year -- the 3 game average for the Wednesday games was 4.54m with a 3.6 HH (household) rating -- last years opening 3 games averaged 4.48m viewers.

Thursdays three games, which included the first appearance by the Yankees averaged 4.6 million viewers over the three games but the Yankees/Indians contest scored 6.7 million viewers.  The good news is that the average of 4.6 million on Day 2 is up 76% over the day two games last year.  Last year though the divisional playoff games were on various, and sometimes hard to find channels.  That's the good news.

The bad news is, so far the playoffs aren't shaking out in a way that is going to produce great ratings for The League Championship Series or World Series.  A World Series between Cleveland and the Arizona Diamondbacks or Colorado Rockies would likely produce record low numbers.   Gorman will tell you that all the smaller market teams are leading right now, and it's true.  Fortunately for MLB "smaller market" doesn't always equal bad. 

While Boston is a smaller market than Los Angeles, there are probably more Red Sox fans in LA than Angels fans.  Sometimes it's more about the teams than the markets themselves: a New York vs Boston ALCS would have higher ratings than a New York vs. Angels ALCS.   

Even though the ratings news is currently good, unless the Yankees, Phillies and Cubs can turn it around, we appear headed for LCS matchups of Cleveland vs. Boston and Colorado vs. Arizona and a continued trend of lower ratings.

 
  • renton

    Boo hoo hoo, ratings might be down because the Yankees might be out of it.

    There are a ton of other teams in baseball and not all fans want to see the Yankees win every year. It's much more fun to watch them implode.

  • renton

    Boo hoo hoo, ratings might be down because the Yankees might be out of it.

    There are a ton of other teams in baseball and not all fans want to see the Yankees win every year. It’s much more fun to watch them implode.

  • Robert Seidman

    I'm with you as far as being a fan! I too take some giddy delight out of watching the Yankees implode. I would love a Red Sox vs. Cubs world series, but that's not looking very likely…

  • Robert Seidman

    I’m with you as far as being a fan! I too take some giddy delight out of watching the Yankees implode. I would love a Red Sox vs. Cubs world series, but that’s not looking very likely…

  • Bill Gorman

    Robert maintains that Boston's 2.4 million TV households [plus the Red Sawx Nation] are more important to MLB ratings than LA's 5.6m.

    My guess is that the overall difference is not large.

    renton, it's not just that the Yankees are down, ALL of the bigger TV market teams are down 2-0.

    With the Giants still nursing their Bondsian hangover, I don't care from a fan perspective who's playing, I'm just interested in what it means for the numbers, baby!

  • Bill Gorman

    Robert maintains that Boston’s 2.4 million TV households [plus the Red Sawx Nation] are more important to MLB ratings than LA’s 5.6m.

    My guess is that the overall difference is not large.

    renton, it’s not just that the Yankees are down, ALL of the bigger TV market teams are down 2-0.

    With the Giants still nursing their Bondsian hangover, I don’t care from a fan perspective who’s playing, I’m just interested in what it means for the numbers, baby!

  • Robert Seidman

    Bill — you aren't really a baseball fan though.

    If we were a sports site I would regale you with how much the Yankees and the Red Sox effect ticket sales when they are the VISITING team. Red Sox have Yankees like power in this regard. Cubs almost… Angels, even with the addition of bad Vlad, not so much!

    But if you want to focus on #'s, there are some numbers available from the fairly recent past when the Angels played the Yankees in the divisional series. It's not fair comparison because there hasn't been a recent Angels vs. Yankees LCS, but the Red Sox vs. Yankees LCS were ratings “winners”

  • Robert Seidman

    Bill — you aren’t really a baseball fan though.

    If we were a sports site I would regale you with how much the Yankees and the Red Sox effect ticket sales when they are the VISITING team. Red Sox have Yankees like power in this regard. Cubs almost… Angels, even with the addition of bad Vlad, not so much!

    But if you want to focus on #’s, there are some numbers available from the fairly recent past when the Angels played the Yankees in the divisional series. It’s not fair comparison because there hasn’t been a recent Angels vs. Yankees LCS, but the Red Sox vs. Yankees LCS were ratings “winners”

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