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.

Posted by:TV By The Numbers

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