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Red Sox ratings are way down this year

Jul 26, 2010, 10:18 AM EDT

The Red Sox bandwagon has a few empty seats in it this year according to Sports Business Journal:

The Boston Red
Sox’s six-year reign atop MLB’s local television ratings is about to
end, as the team’s local numbers have plummeted from first to fifth this

Entering the All-Star break, ratings for Red Sox games on
NESN have dropped nearly 36 percent from last year, for a 6.25 average

The last time the Red Sox finished out of the top spot was
in 2003, when the Mariners posted an 11.53 rating on FSN Northwest. The
Sox averaged a 7.86 rating that year on NESN. This year, Red Sox
ratings trail the Cardinals (9.70 on FS Midwest), Twins (7.85 on FS
North), Phillies (7.20 on CSN Philadelphia) and Reds (6.52 on FS Ohio).

Obviously they still reach a ton more households than just about any team, and some of this drop also probably reflects the Celtics and Bruins’ long postseason runs, though at least the Celtics’ success is not new.

It would seem that the most likely explanation here is just a general decline in enthusiasm about the Bosox. Check out this fan quote from the article:

“People expected a
bigger splash in the offseason. There’s a general
feeling that the ownership took a pass on this season, and I think
you’re seeing fans question why they should invest in it.”

If that’s true it speaks of a pretty damn big sense of entitlement on the part of Sox fans, doesn’t it?  They brought in two of the most sought-after free agents in all of baseball in John Lackey and Adrian Beltre and returned the rest of a team that just won 95 games last year.  Has it really gotten to the point that unless a $100 million free agent comes in that fans consider ownership “taking a pass?”

  1. BC - Jul 26, 2010 at 10:33 AM

    Hear that thud? That’s everyone jumping off the Red Sox bandwagon.
    New Englanders are notorious for this – see UConn men’s hoops.
    I myself being a New Englander take a different approach with my Mets – I was never on the bandwagon in the first place.

  2. Cru11 - Jul 26, 2010 at 10:33 AM

    I’m convinced the Pirates have suited up in Red Sox uniforms the past week. Yesterday I thought that a jv team was out there against M’s.

  3. Chris Fiorentino - Jul 26, 2010 at 10:34 AM

    “Taking a pass”? How ludicrous is that. Sure the hated Yankers won the World Series. But the Red Sox signed Lackey and Beltre. I think it is more a function of missing guys like Pedroia, Ellsbury, Beckett, Martinez, etc. than it is anything else. The Red Sox are still second in the Wild Card race…unfortunately, they are 6 back and fading. However, it is amazing that they have the 4th best record in the AL right now with all their injuries. If they get their guys back and get hot, I see no reason why they can’t overtake the Rays.

  4. YankeesfanLen - Jul 26, 2010 at 10:34 AM

    You don’t really want me to answer that, do you? I take the fifth, gin not bourbon please.

  5. ThinMan - Jul 26, 2010 at 10:35 AM

    I’ve noticed that it’s much easier to get tix to Fenway this season, without having to pay reseller markups. I don’t consider that a bad thing. Fewer pink hats just makes it easier for the real fans to follow our team.

  6. BC - Jul 26, 2010 at 10:38 AM

    If the Mets and Red Sox played a game right now, would anyone win? Or would they just give up after 45 innings or so?

  7. funi - Jul 26, 2010 at 10:41 AM

    Redsox nation is DEAD!!!

  8. Kevin R - Jul 26, 2010 at 10:55 AM

    I still watch most of the games, though sometimes I wish I didn’t. (such as this past weekend.) Though I watch on EI from Virginia now, so I don’t count for “local ratings” anymore I guess.
    Sadly I don’t doubt some “fans” believe the “didn’t make a big splash” thing, even if it’s obviously ridiculous. As much as we pretend, idiocy is not limited to Yankees fans.

  9. Glenn - Jul 26, 2010 at 10:56 AM

    It was a quote from ONE FAN. The news is that after seven years of being the most supported team by its fan base, they dropped to fifth (still ahead of the Yankees, BTW). This makes Red Sox fans bandwagon jumpers?

  10. Joe - Jul 26, 2010 at 11:02 AM

    This would perhaps explain the more aggressive NESN advertising on other channels this summer.
    Red Sox Nation is a land where in the year 2010, people still complain about how much money J.D. Drew is making, and will argue that the Sox should have re-signed Trot Nixon instead. In other words, it’s a land populated with idiots. So yes, RSN looks at the fact that Theo signed a third baseman who hit .265-8-44 last year to replace a World Series Hero, and an old outfielder with a .250 career batting average who took CF from Jacoby Ellsbury, and decides that ownership doesn’t care.
    As a lifelong Red Sox fan, I could do with a bit more room on the bandwagon. But I don’t want revenues to suffer, so I am a bit torn.

  11. JCD - Jul 26, 2010 at 11:31 AM

    Sorry but withouth Manny this team is a whole lot more boring. There are no characters on this team anymore, just kind of a bunch of dull guys, Dustin Pedroia notwithstanding.

  12. Wooden U Lykteneau - Jul 26, 2010 at 12:15 PM

    @JCD – There’s always the WWE for “fans” like you…

  13. CommonNow - Jul 26, 2010 at 12:32 PM

    Let’s look at this folks:
    1) “Bandwagon” is what you get in say SEATTLE: When the M’s do well the town is energized behind them. Otherwise they don’t know they exist. If any of you have ever BEEN to Fenway on a game day you will see a sea of die-hard, shirt/hat wearing fans like you won’t see in ANY city of the nation. These fans are not on-off-on types. They literally live and die by each pitch.
    2) These fans are so die-hard, that they know what the team needs in order to win. YES, I said WIN. Many of you are from markets where winning is a possibility only during the offseason. Boston fans know their team was only a few moves away from staying great. They know that the moves made were not enough. Obtaining the “most sought-after free agents in all of baseball” may sound like a great marketing ploy for underserved markets, but in Boston they were simply two holes to fill. The team is aging, the guys who could smash the ball had been dealt off (Bay and Manny), the players who are competent have to run at 110% all the time to make up for the injuries. The Bosox fans know their team could win it all again, with the right additions. They did not get the additions so the Sox will not even make the playoffs. For those whose markets don’t offer the ability to win, let me explain it to you: Not being able to win is much different then being right on the cusp of winning it all, but being just shy because you didn’t make the right moves to shore up the team.
    3) Why is it that I can’t go to a Blog about MY TEAM without finding some Dolts from other markets piping in about the team and fans? Is it because your market is so boring? Seriously folks – I don’t go to a REDs site and beotch about the comments. Why are you here???

  14. Cheap Seat Chronicles - Jul 26, 2010 at 1:23 PM

    Random Thought: Over the winter, Comcast–the major cable provider in Boston–switched to all digital service. If you chose not to get the digital service and stayed with the good ole fashioned cable, you could only get the “basic” package which does not include NESN.
    Personally, given the economy, it wasn’t feasible to fork over more money to Comcast for digital television, so I lost NESN. I know a bunch of other people who felt the same way. I get all of my MLB action on, at bars, or at friend’s places.
    I’m not saying it explains everything, but it’s a possibility.
    Another possible reason is that it has been a gorgeous summer. After last year was all rains and cloud, this year we’ve gotten tons of sun and warm weather. Lots of people are choosing to skip watching the games to enjoy the summer. No shame there.

  15. Md23Rewls - Jul 26, 2010 at 2:23 PM

    Tsk tsk tsk, gotta read the article before you comment: “Yankees games on YES again are the most watched in the league (328,000 homes), followed by their New York neighbor, the Mets, whose games on SNY attract an average of 244,000 homes.”

  16. Jeremy - Jul 26, 2010 at 4:51 PM

    CommonNow, I think I’m misunderstanding #3. Craig’s blog isn’t a Red Sox blog, it’s a blog about baseball, all thirty teams. So the commenters here will often be fans of teams other than the Red Sox.

  17. Glenn - Jul 26, 2010 at 8:00 PM

    The ratings in the article are based on viewers per area not total viewers. The extra math step must have thrown you off. Tsk Tsk. Of course the largest market – metropolitan NY – has the most viewers. The Sox have had the highest percentage of viewers for seven years.

  18. CommonNow - Jul 28, 2010 at 10:18 AM

    Hi Jeremy. I appreciate your comment. I guess I read this as a story about the BOSOX, not baseball as a whole. I did incorrectly state Blog however.
    Also please allow me say that I have nothing against the REDS or Mariners. Just two names chosen to emphasize a point.

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