Game Five Gets Good Ratings, But Rays-Phils Is Still The Lowest Rated W.S. Ever

Thursday, October 30, 2008

It was a forgone conclusion that this World Series was going to be the low, but exactly how low? Even with the help of a 3 1/2 inning primetime game, that pulled a the 2008 out of the lowest rated spot in World Series history. The overnight total for last night's Game Five continuation was a 13.4 and when you average all of the game out the grand total should be around the low to mid 9.0's once all the numbers are collected. Not only is that .5 less than the previous low of 10.0 in 2006, but it obviously marks the first time a World Series averaged under 10.0.

I think the ultimate sentiment is that the World Series has just lost the overall luster that it once had. In fact even Peter Gammons thinks that it might be time to overhaul the entire October Event....

In the mid-'90s, several owners went to a Miami Super Bowl and discussed the notion of having a 10-day World Series at a neutral site. They'd have to get local fans to buy into destination and vacation packages. There wouldn't be the feel in Anaheim, San Diego or Los Angeles that there is in New York, Chicago, St. Louis or Boston. But then the Cardinals are the only team since the 2002 Angels to win in front of their home fans. It would be a hard sell, but the notion of a World Series week has some advantages.

May I suggest Punta Mita, Mexico? The Four Seasons would be a perfect headquarters hotel. Anguilla would work.

The World Series is, after all, significant television programming, and the good folks at Fox would love predictability. It's better than the official first dud of the fall TV season, "The Perfect Storm Hits the World Series."

There are a lot of questions that will be weighed after this, the worst World Series in memory. The first? With plummeting television ratings and the collapse of the economy, will the free agent market continue to inflate, or will it cool the market? The impact of this World Series may last right through into January.
Wow. That's pretty depressing. I don't know if something as drastic as Gammons is suggesting needs to be done, but something has to change. I personally enjoyed this World Series because of its overall randomness, both the teams involved and the 3.5 inning shootout, but the majority of Baseball fans don't think like I do. The "Winter Meetings" should be extra interesting come December.

Weather turns Series into worst ever (ESPN)
Rays-Phils Likely To Be Lowest Rated World Series Ever (Awful Announcing)

Posted by Awful Announcing- at 1:47 PM


Perhaps, just perhaps, MLB should take a look at the packaging as much as the product. By that I mean Fox and the announcers it uses -- Buck who confesses to being bored by baseball, and McCarver ... well, McCarver being McCarver, and being 67-years-old.

NewMexiKen said...
Oct 30, 2008, 2:23:00 PM  

Peter Gammons is full of shit.

Anonymous said...
Oct 30, 2008, 3:10:00 PM  

yet fox cleaned up in the ratings with the world series.

so which is it? baseball sucks or fox rocked?

apologies for being repetitive, but sports fans don't care about ratings.

Anonymous said...
Oct 30, 2008, 3:18:00 PM  

Gammons agrees with Bill Plaschke & Woody Paige. Turn in your Hall of Fame status, Peter.

Oct 30, 2008, 3:21:00 PM  

the problem with the world series if that its a series, its the same reason that the nba doesnt draw as good as the nfl play-offs. but id rather have a series then a one game play-off to decide my team season.

personally i dont give a crap about ratings and im glad that its low cuse i hate FOX, and since the yankees arent in it i dont really care who won as long as it wasnt the red sox.

and i think that theres a problem with having buck still doing games. how can fox and mlb expect people to watch if the announcer is even complaining about how boring it is. its like taking a high school english class and at the begining of the class the teacher goes, o yea this book sucks, its way to long and not that exciting. then expecting the students to read. get rid of buck, personally i woudlnt mind chip caray, but i know that people disagree with me. why hasnt there been a mel allen type announcers in years?

Anonymous said...
Oct 30, 2008, 3:29:00 PM  

apologies for being repetitive, but sports fans don't care about ratings

And the networks(and MLB) don't care about the fans.
FOX wants predictability? Then let Vince McMahon run the playoffs.

Anonymous said...
Oct 30, 2008, 3:40:00 PM  

Hey Peter,

Just because your beloved Red Sox were not in the World Series, doesn't make it the worse one ever. In fact, i would be hard pressed to find any neutral fan that liked last years Sox-Rockies series more than this years.

Anonymous said...
Oct 30, 2008, 3:41:00 PM  

anon@318: The half-hour Obama broadcast drew more viewers.

Anonymous said...
Oct 30, 2008, 3:44:00 PM  

Do you really think MLB care what FOX or TBS does with the World Series? As far as their concern, it's free money to them. The big money for baseball on TV comes from local revenue from the haves and then distributed to the have nots.

CBS can't afford it, NBC don't want it, ABC/ESPN could have taken it, but apparently only under its own terms (thus why TBS got the package) and FOX has the money, but prefers the eyeballs to pimp their programming.

National dollars is free money to MLB. The real trouble will be when the networks decide baseball isn't worth the amount MLB thinks its worth. You think the MLB Network would have ever gotten on the basic package if they didn't have to give up a third of their own product?

And besides, I agree with Charles Barkley: The Nielsen Ratings are completely bogus and antiquated.

Salva73 said...
Oct 30, 2008, 3:46:00 PM  

They need to start the World Series games at least an hour earlier. Yes even if that means that MLB has to give a rebate or lower their contract demands to FOX. Maybe start bringing back "old school baseball" having at least one game in the afternoon. Please no neutral site World Series.

Anonymous said...
Oct 30, 2008, 3:49:00 PM  

@thats my story: MLB Network is gonna have a hard time getting carriage. Most of the big cable companies don't even carry NFL Network.

Anonymous said...
Oct 30, 2008, 4:08:00 PM  

anon 3:49, no they don't. You can't fuck over the west coast like that. Not everything revolves around the eastern time zone (I live there, too). If you don't like games being on so late, you shouldn't be watching sports anyway. One Life To Live might be more up your alley.

GMoney said...
Oct 30, 2008, 4:11:00 PM  

You don't change something that's been sucessful for 100 years.

All the Skip Bayless types who call for the WS at a neutral site are basically slapping the true baseball fan in the face.

alex said...
Oct 30, 2008, 4:32:00 PM  

MLB Network is gonna have a hard time getting carriage. Most of the big cable companies don't even carry NFL Network.

That is not correct. MLB Network will be available to all cable subscribers on a basic tier starting January 1st. This is because Timewarner, Comcast, Cablevision et al are all sharing 1/3 ownership of the network. It was the only way they would agree to carry it on the basic tier and not force Extra Innings to be exclusive on Direct TV.

They want to cut the same kind of deal with the NFL to get it on a basic tier but the NFL is balking.

Salva73 said...
Oct 30, 2008, 4:45:00 PM  

And anon 4:11. Spare me the BS about the west coast. In NY during the 2000 world series the rating was a freaking 60! But in 2002 with 2 California teams on both ends of the state, going 7 games, they couldn't get a higher rating than any series division, LCS or World Series that included Boston, New York (both teams) or the National Cricket Title.

Start the games at 7 eastern on the dot, that's 4 pacific. The kids are home from school in San Pedro, Happy hour crowd can catch the 3rd or 4th inning in Denver, and the casual fans diving home from work catch the last 4-5 innings in Portland. Games over by 10:30 EST, 7:30 PST and you have an entire nation still awake at a decent hour to see the end of the game. You just boosted your rating for the last two hours of prime instead losing half the country after 11 PM.

As for games being on late, well some of us have jobs. Posting comments on a blog 24 hours isn't a job.

Finally, I can't speak for One Life to Live, but General Hospital is quality programming.

Salva73 said...
Oct 30, 2008, 5:06:00 PM  

Sorry, that was supposed to go to Gmoney.

Salva73 said...
Oct 30, 2008, 5:07:00 PM  

the reason significant baseball should never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever be played on a neutral site is that baseball is the only major sport where the fields are not uniform, and that character matters--watching my Red Sox in a World Series without seeing a single weak fly ball turn to a wall double would just feel wrong.

but late starts and a late end to the season have fucked with things. the baseball season is meant to be complete by mid-October, and now we're reaching into November, with all the fun weather that entails. I'd like a 7:30 start time for all games (that's a START time, not a Start Your Bullshit Pregame Show time, or even a start singing the national anthem time), and a 155-game schedule.

the quality of baseball and the rate of attrition would improve with this as well, because the extra round of playoffs really has made a difference...remember when owners were so loath to overextend the season that the ALCS and NLCS were five games? well, no roster is constructed to survive a possible 162 + 5 + 7 + 7= 181-game season. cut everyone a little slack, MLB, and you'll find less is more.

Josh Drimmer said...
Oct 30, 2008, 5:48:00 PM  

The 2000 Subway Series went through the roof in NYC ... and through the floor everywhere else.

BTW, when MLB Network signs on it'll most likely wind up in a "Sports Pack". Cablevision doesn't have room for that channel on expanded basic where I live.

Anonymous said...
Oct 30, 2008, 5:52:00 PM  

Solution #1 - Day games

Solution #2 - More day games.

It lets the youngsters watch and the adults play hookie from work. It really IS that simple. About overcoming that owner greed thing though..................

Anonymous said...
Oct 30, 2008, 7:48:00 PM  

If the baseball hats need Elmer Fudd ear flaps, maybe you're playing a little too late into the year. Why do they need to shorten the season from 162 games? The season has been that long since 1961 (AL) and 1962 (NL), and the World Series was over on October 9th and 16th those years. Here's a point nobody brings up - whatever happened to the double header? One double header a month and you break even for the extra 5 game first round. It's pretty bad if you have to choose between Trick-or-Treating, or watching the series... Oh wait, the games don't start until 8:30, so I guess you could do both.

Anonymous said...
Oct 30, 2008, 8:22:00 PM  

Well Bud said he'd like to see day games return to the World Series but Fox/TBS just said shut the fuck up.
I don't mind the 8:00 start if it starts at 8 not 8:45. I don't need to see Kevin Kennnedy and Eric Karros fight over who gets to nail Zelasko for 45 freakin minutes.
Buck has to go,the professor Frink looking freak blathers on,confuses names and for christs sakes David Price is good but did you fuck nuts have to blab on about it for 3 innings.
Perfect example; Burrell hits a double and they pinch run. Victorino comes to the plate and tries to bunt,Dick one says this is a bad play because the bottom of the order is up. Dick 2 agress.Victorino grounds to second and they both applaud him for advancing the runner,isn't that the same as a bunt? Man goes to third batter out. Dumb fucks...

Anonymous said...
Oct 30, 2008, 9:53:00 PM  

They should just get rid of every team except the Red Sox, Yankees, Mets, Cubs, White Sox and Cardinals then the living $20 bill would be happy, since those are the only cites worthy of a World Series. So tired of ESPN bullshit.

Anonymous said...
Oct 30, 2008, 11:13:00 PM  

Baseball has lost it's luster with the younger generation.

When we were kids we watched every World Series.

We watched the Royals and Cardinals, Braves and Twins, Blue Jays and Phillies.

Since the strike it's been all about the Yankees and Red Sox.

I still watch every World Series and I enjoyed this one alot because of the 2 young teams.

Degenerasian said...
Oct 31, 2008, 2:49:00 AM  

baseball is too slow and takes too long for many people in today's fast paced world. there should be no 7 game series in either mlb or the nba. many people may also lose interest because of the 160 game regular season schedule. the nba plays 80 regular season games. both leagues would benefit from shortening the regular season but it will never happen. America is a NFL and CFB country now. the nba will have staying power as basketball is growing globally. i think mlb will keep losing popularity as those who grew up during the age of baseball as America's pastime pass away.

Corey said...
Oct 31, 2008, 3:49:00 AM  

Nah, baseball will NEVER lose it's audience. Baseball is a local sport, always has, always will be. This isn't the 1980's where you had 8-10 local channels and, if your were well off, lucky to have 20 or so channels of cable. Baseball (and everything else on network TV) has about a thousand channels of TV to compete. The audience is so scattered, you will never see a 28 national rating like the 1986 world series. Just look at the history of the ratings and you will see the trend go downward after the cable boom.

In New York, your either watching YES for the Yankees or SNY for the Mets. In Boston, NESN for the sox. Chicago, WGN and so on. So if my team (or yours for that matter) is on Monday Night, Wednsday Night, daytime on the weekend or Sunday night, you WILL watch. Or the bar WILL be packed.

But if it isn't your local team on the air, baseball has 1000 TV channels and the internet to compete with. But the internet has given baseball a great boost in creating new fans and giving fans a different prospective of the game (i.e. Fantasy Baseball, Rob Neyer, Peter Gammons).

The game will always survive, but ultimately the only way to fix the World Series (and the damn All-Star Game too) is an earlier start time.

Salva73 said...
Oct 31, 2008, 6:43:00 AM  

They need to roll back the start times. I have to get up at 4:00 a.m. to get to work. There is just no way that I can stay up past midnight to watch a baseball game. I shouldn't have to, especially when both teams are located here on the east coast.

During the regular season, games start at 7:05 p.m. during the week and 1:05 p.m. on the weekends. That's the way it should be for the post season too.

Rick Rottman said...
Oct 31, 2008, 11:20:00 AM  

I like Gammons, but he and his paid vacation to Mexico can eat a bag of dead cheesesteaks.

Some of us have to take unpaid days off work and pull our kids out of school for a once-in-a-lifetime chance to go to a World Series game. My nine-year-old son was high-fiving strangers, shaking hands with cops, and saying "This is the happiest day of my life."

Steve M said...
Oct 31, 2008, 11:50:00 AM  

In the Mountain Time Zone, games air at a perfect time. I don't plan to leave consequently.

Brad James said...
Oct 31, 2008, 1:25:00 PM  

MLB needs to get a deal with ESPN/ABC and they need to work on media relations. Starting about 38 seconds after the Rays beat the Red Sox, it was pretty much non-stop "well, this is going to suck" from ESPN and the rest of the sports media. Well, the surest way to change the tenor of your coverage on ESPN (from, "Oh, is that thing happening," to "Oh my freaking God this is the most amazing thing you will ever see") is to be broadcast on ESPN (or ABC). As for the media, just put Gammons and Co. up at the local Four Seasons/Ritz Carlton or comparable five star resort hotel, buy them all the whores and drugs they can possibly handle, make sure they don't have to pay for anything, and then sit back and wait for the, "This was the greatest series ever and I love Tampa/Philly" articles to start rolling in.

You know, sportswriters can be real panzees when they they don't get the story they want, but are instead forced to cover the story that is happening.

Anonymous said...
Nov 1, 2008, 6:10:00 AM  

Start the weeknight at 8 eastern. Have the pre-game at 7:30 if you need a half-hour pre-game. On the weekend, start the games at 7:30. Maybe even earlier on Saturdays.

Oh and having a WS last more than five games might help too.....

Anonymous said...
Nov 1, 2008, 10:05:00 PM  

People who hate baseball; or who don't care for any team except for their local guys; or who don't watch the World Series if their guys aren't in it; or who whine about games taking too long to play...

...can f**ck off and die.
Or go watch Dancing With the Stars, which is pretty much the same thing.
Then, the remaining true baseball fans, who aren't wussy wimp candy asses, can enjoy the games without having to worry about the rest of those idiots.

Anonymous said...
Nov 2, 2008, 2:05:00 AM  

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