Why Is Nobody Watching The World Series?

An article by posted on October 28, 2013

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The obstruction call that ended in in a 5-4 victory for the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 3 of the World Series on Saturday night

Maury Brown of Forbes.com said the broadcast drew 12.5 million viewers on FOX, up 19 percent over Game 3 in 2012 and ranking as the most-watched World Series Game 3 since 2009 based on Nielsen Media Research data.

FOX averaged a 7.4 fast national rating for the game, up 21 percent over Game 3 in 2012, and leading to a dominant win in primetime, where FOX topped the second place network by 173 percent and beat the other three broadcast networks combined based on metered market ratings.

Overall, the 2013 World Series is averaging 13.4 million viewers through three games, up 15 percent over last year and the highest average through three games since 2010.

However, when compared to ratings as far back as 1971, the World Series has suffered an incredible decline that no longer ranks the Fall Classic among the top sporting events in the country.

Keith Olbermann did a great video segment on the subject and he toasted Major League Baseball (rightfully so) for how they took the most celebrated and watched sporting event in the country into the complete mess it is today.

He contends that 1971 was baseball’s high water mark when 37 million people tuned into that World Series – more than half of all the television sets in America at that time.

He also says that MLB tried desperately to not have the Yankees or any other team be looked at as a National Team and in doing so MLB destroyed their biggest marketing chip. The NFL on the other hand, employed the exact opposite strategy and that’s why they are now the National Pastime.

“In 1968, Super Bowl viewership began to rise and it never stopped, because the NFL spent the ’50s and ’60s trying to obtain something that baseball was desperate to get rid of: national teams. In the ’50s there was a nationally televised baseball game of the week and then there was a nationally televised New York Yankees game of the week. And rather than appreciating what that meant — that there could be Yankees fans in Manhattan and in Manhattan, Kan., and Manhattan, Nev. — baseball did everything it could to level the playing field.”

“Meanwhile over at the NFL, Pete Rozell was trying to figure out how to make New York Yankees. He wanted national franchises. And he got them. The Green Bay Packers, the Dallas Cowboys, the Raiders. Eventually all of them. All NFL teams have national fan bases or at least enough national support so it really doesn’t matter anymore which cities are represented in the Super Bowl.”

Here is the complete video (hat tip to Chris):

About the Author ()

I'm a lifelong Mets fan who loves writing and talking about the Amazins' 24/7. From the Miracle in 1969 to the magic of 1986, and even the near misses in '73 and '00, I've experienced it all - the highs and the lows. I started Mets Merized Online in 2005 to feed my addiction and interact with other passionate Met fans like you. Follow me on Twitter @metsmerized.

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