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Must-Click Link: Why it doesn’t matter that the NFL beats baseball in the TV ratings

Nov 4, 2010, 3:37 PM EDT

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I’ve repeated it over and over: it doesn’t matter that the NFL beats baseball in the ratings. They’re apples and oranges given that baseball’s television economics are all about regular season games broadcast locally, while the NFL is like a national television show.  Comparing the two is like comparing the NBC nightly news with Channel 4’s local news. They’re just different things altogether, neither trying to really do what the other is doing.

Today over at TYU, @williamnyy23 writes a guest post explaining all of this in far more detail, with numbers attached.  The nut graf, as they say:

Baseball’s strength is its 162 game schedule. Following a team throughout the season comes with an ebb and flow, much like life itself. There are very few short bursts that absolutely demand attention. Although some may think that’s a bad thing, it’s actually baseball’s greatest asset. The number one reason baseball has exploding revenues is because the sport finally learned to leverage the 162 game schedule. Baseball’s massive inventory of games is a boon in a time when media outlets are starving for content. From satellite radio to local RSNs to MLBAM’s on-line initiatives, baseball’s growth has been fueled by its ability to fill the airwaves and the internet. Just like the NFL, MLB needs to play to its strengths, and chasing network television network ratings is not one of them.

Read the whole thing. And then, the next time someone declares baseball dead because a playoff game gets beat by the Titans-Jags, you can tell them why they don’t know what in the hell they’re talking about.

  1. BC - Nov 4, 2010 at 3:59 PM

    Gambling is the biggest reason. That, and your baseball playoffs are either five games or seven games. If you made baseball single-elimination ratings would go way up.

  2. Jonny 5 - Nov 4, 2010 at 4:56 PM

    America is becoming dumber. This is why baseball has lower ratings than football. Smart people are baseball fans. This is why Arizona will have a taxpayer funded stadium for the cubs. Smart people vote. Smart people love baseball. Now if voting was done door to door, they would have never passed that bill. But since Smart baseball fans vote while dummies don’t, the stadium gets erected. Yeah, it’s kinda abstract but i think I make a good point….
    And Smart people never watch “the Jersey shore” Football fans do.

    • ThatGuy - Nov 4, 2010 at 5:18 PM

      You make it sounds like its mutually exclusive. You either or a baseball fan or your a football fan. I personally am a huge fan of the Twins, Vikings and Wild. As you can see im a glutton for sports punishment. Needless to say if the Twins and Vikings are on TV at the same time for some reason, I would watch the Vikings over the Twins. As one game is 1/16th of the season. If it was a Twins playoff game, I would likely go to a bar or hook up another TV and watch both. Oddly enough I would pick a Wild game over either, but thats because im kind of fanatical.

    • Richard In Big D - Nov 4, 2010 at 9:25 PM

      If anyone doubts that America is getting dumber, you need to rent the movie “Idiocracy”. While futuristic and fictional, the whole premise makes sense. Football is a step closer to “Ow! My Balls!” than baseball is. We’re headed there, folks. Be ready!

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