OT MLB ratings decline
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05-31-2013, 02:05 PM
Join Date: Dec 2010
Originally Posted by
Growing revenues is the stupidest argument otherwise intelligent people trot out on this board all the time. Why am I supposed to be amazed with MLB's revenue growth over the past 20 years when every other league has seen a similar percentage of growth? Because the order hasn't changed since 1994? Wow, baseball's kept up with inflation, how amazing.
Baseball was priority 1, 1A, 1B, 1C, 2, 2A, 2B, 2C and 3 for every sports fan in this country for a century. Since 1970, it's loss of market share has been swift and startling. A lot of those wounds are self inflicted, true, but does anyone honestly believe Habs' scenario wherein a 20 year old today who's never cared about a World Series in his life suddenly discovers that he loves baseball at age 35? That's wishful thinking.
NBA revenue in 1996: $2.3 bn.
MLB revenue in 1996: $1.78 bn.
NBA revenue in 2012-13: $~5 bn.
MLB revenue in 2013: $~8bn.
David Stern, Mr. Awesome Commissioner, undisputed leader of the most likely candidate by almost universal agreement to displace the national pastime, got his rear end handed to him on a dirty, bent tray by ....Bud Selig.
So not only did MLB beat inflation (by something like eight times inflation) it kicked the ****ing crap out of the NBA.
Swift and startling my ass. The NBA gets people to watch 7 games, MLB gets people to watch 162. For God's sake, the Mets get 75% the average households per game that the New York Knicks get. The Yankees get about as much as the Knicks and Nets got combined last year. That's despite playing day games, playing more 10 pm starts on the West Coast, playing 162 games versus 82 so nobody feels too bad about missing a game.
As for your second point, baseball has a 50 year-plus track record of converting people to being fans when they get older. The NBA's got a 30 year plus record of losing fans as they get older. All those 20 year olds in the 60s who thought pro football was cooler are now those Medicare-loving baseball fans, all the 15 year olds who had Bird and Magic posters on their walls are the middle-aged white guys who hate the NBA.
If you don't want philosophizing about God, your father and your place in history, fine. Baseball's still the most affordable, convenient sport going that allows you to sit outside in good weather in the day time and drink in your seat without missing a quarter due to lines. You can take your kids to it, and you can get there without a car in most cities.
Little League registration is dropping, but most kids still try baseball at some point, and dropping baseball doesn't preclude getting interested in it again. I chose rugby because I was better at it, I now barely watch rugby, watch tons of baseball and play softball a couple times a week.
Speaking of softball, that's still a behemoth in girls sports, and in my experience a lot of softball players enjoy watching baseball. So baseball's fanbase becomes more female-oriented...that's not a bad thing. Seems accurate to me too, when I go to a Giants game there are a ton more women in the stadium than when I've ever been to a football game and certainly at a soccer game in the UK.
So, to recount:
1) Baseball's revenue has skyrocketed compared to other sports.
2) Local TV ratings are really strong, much stronger than the NBA's.
3) Baseball has a track record of converting older people to fans. For emotional, historical...AND practical reasons.
4) The "kids hate baseball" talking point is vastly overplayed...and doesn't mean they won't become baseball fans later anyway.
The game is strong, my friends.
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