October 29, 2003

Are They Done Playing Baseball Yet?

Apparently I wasn't the only one to stop watching baseball after the Cubs and Red Sox both lost - the World Series posted its third-lowest TV ratings ever. Do you think Fox is worried that they're in year 3 of a 6-year deal, and the two Series with lower ratings were in 2000 and 2002?

Of course, some (like Major League Baseball's web site) are spinning this as a half-full glass:

"This year's six World Series games averaged a 12.8 rating and 22 percent share, an eight percent increase over last year's seven-game all-time low average of an 11.9 rating and a 20 percent share for the Angels' come-from-behind victory over the Giants. But viewership actually rose 17 percent when simply comparing this year's six games to the first six games of last year's World Series."
At least they acknowledged that the 2002 Series reached a level of apathy heretofore unknown, which somewhat surprises me. Then they say "well, everybody else sucks too:"
'The TV ratings have been extraordinary,' Commissioner Bud Selig said on Saturday night. 'Especially when you consider that every other sports property has gone down.'

Bloomberg News reported that ratings for this year's National Basketball Association Finals were the worst in history, and that ratings for the four major men's golf tournaments, the U.S. Open tennis tournament and the National Hockey League's Stanley Cup finals also were down this year."
I'm too lazy to look right now, but I'm willing to bet that all those events except the NBA Finals don't represent four-year downward trends like baseball (excepting the post-9/11-patriotism-driven 2001 Series). Note also that pro and college football were conspicuously absent from that list.

Posted by Chris at October 29, 2003 07:21 AM

Category: Sports