Dear FOX Sports,
Whatever the match-ups, this year’s World Series will out-rate last year’s lowest-rated World Series ever. While as a fan of baseball and of ratings I’m hoping for a Dodgers vs. Yankees seven game series, even the least optimal of the possible match-ups -- a Phillies/Angels World Series – would, I believe, out-rate last year’s Phillies/Rays series (update: Maxx in the comments note that the worst match-up ratings-wise might be Dodgers-Angels, and I agree with him).
I bring this up because I was recently interviewed by public radio’s Marketplace reporter Joel Rose. A good guy, a sports fan, and alas, a Phillies fan. I wasn’t as careful as I should’ve been and Joel wound up mixing something I said into this:
Seidman says ratings from the first round of the playoffs were encouraging. But he doubts that even a Yankees-Dodgers series would reverse decades of declining viewership for the World Series. Last year's match-up between Tampa Bay and Philadelphia was the lowest rated ever.
To be clear, in the context of conversation around “What happened to America’s pastime?” I did indeed say that not even a Yankees Dodgers matchup would restore baseball to its former glory. While a Yankees/Dodgers series isn’t going to rate as well as series from 25 years ago, or perhaps even 10 years ago, I am certain that a Yankees/Dodgers match-up would do much better than last year. Yankees/Phillies, too. I’m pretty sure even Phillies vs. Angels would outperform last year. So no matter what happens, at least for a year the trend of declining ratings will be reversed.
I’m not upset with Joel and he did note that I said “Yankees-Dodgers…would be huge”, it’s just one of those things that can happen if you’re not careful. But I didn’t want anyone, especially our friends at FOX Sports, to think that I thought this year’s World Series wouldn’t outperform last years. On a range of from at least a little bit, to a whole freaking lot, I think this year will be better than last.
Joel did capture the important point, which is, “volume is king!” Dodgers-Yankees sounds great and again, I’d love to see it, but seven games of Phillies-Angels would add up to more ratings than four games of Dodgers-Yankees.