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  #16  
Old 10-30-2012, 10:15 AM
wassagstdu wassagstdu is offline
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The World Series once matched the two "best" teams in baseball, or the best team in each league, as determined by performance over a whole season. Now it matches the two teams that are best "this week." At least one of those teams was often a marginal performer over the entire season but got hot at the right time. Who cares other than the fans of those teams.

Also, by the time you come to the seventh do-or-die series in three weeks, the thrill is gone.

The full season has lost its transcendent importance, and the postseason is just a second season, more disappointing than the first for all but one team and its fans.

That said, who cares as long as baseball remains financially viable and we can "appreciate the game," or whatever the slogan was this year?
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  #17  
Old 10-30-2012, 10:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Moses_Scurry View Post

Really the only championship I'll watch with a lot of interest without my favorite team involved is the NCAA basketball championship. I don't know why that and not the others. Maybe because I don't really have a favorite college team since I went to Western Illinois University who doesn't appear in any major championships.
To me, part of the interest in the NCAA tournament is the speed at which it happens. 64 (or 68 i guess) down to a championship game in 3 weeks with every game being an elimination game. There's suspense constantly, and the combination of speed that it moves at with the few days off for a breather in between weekends gives it a perfect rhythm that keeps people interested to the end.
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  #18  
Old 10-30-2012, 10:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Huisj View Post
To me, part of the interest in the NCAA tournament is the speed at which it happens. 64 (or 68 i guess) down to a championship game in 3 weeks with every game being an elimination game. There's suspense constantly, and the combination of speed that it moves at with the few days off for a breather in between weekends gives it a perfect rhythm that keeps people interested to the end.
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  #19  
Old 10-30-2012, 11:26 AM
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Originally Posted by DSpivack View Post
I agree. Baseball is the 2nd most popular sport, and TV revenue has never been higher. The health of the sport is perfectly fine.
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Originally Posted by WhiffleBall View Post
Even with the low ratings this years WS was the 9th most watched prime time program on television in 2012 and the 2nd most watched prime time program in the sought after 18-49 male demographic.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports...,6811243.story
Record low television ratings this year. The revenues are from the contract MLB signed with Fox, not the ratings. Fox was probably banking on one of the "national" teams (Red Sox, Yankees, Dodgers, Cubs) making it during the contract term. I would not be surprised to see Fox try to break the contract if they feel MLB is not promoting the Series enough to generate interest in it.
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  #20  
Old 10-30-2012, 11:38 AM
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Originally Posted by DumpJerry View Post
Record low television ratings this year. The revenues are from the contract MLB signed with Fox, not the ratings. Fox was probably banking on one of the "national" teams (Red Sox, Yankees, Dodgers, Cubs) making it during the contract term. I would not be surprised to see Fox try to break the contract if they feel MLB is not promoting the Series enough to generate interest in it.
How the 2012 World Series ratings compare to the 1960 ratings is completely irrelevant. All that matters is how the Series compares to contemporary programming and, as was noted, it was still a major TV event for Fox who, by the way, just inked that huge TV deal during this season. The thought that they'd try to back out now, only a few months into the deal is so completely and utterly stupid, that I am guessing you just were too lazy to type that sentence in teal.
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  #21  
Old 10-30-2012, 11:42 AM
TheOldRoman TheOldRoman is offline
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I'm not sure I've ever bought into this line of thinking. In the late 70s, baseball was all about the Dodgers and Yankees. In the mid 80s, it was the Cardinals and Mets. I think that particular problem, or at least the perception of the problem, has always existed.
I wasn't alive in the '70s, so I can't say for sure. Maybe my memories of the '90s are clouded because I was still young. However, baseball coverage (ESPN) took a HUGE turn towards Yankees/Red Sox 24/7 around the turn of the century. In the '90s the Indians were a small market team which had huge national appeal. Of course, we haven't had a small market team come out and dominate a division while winning two pennants and having many superstar players since then, so there is no true comparison. I don't think those Indians would be hyped up as much in this day. Casual fans don't know stars unless they play for their team or a division rival. Who the hell is Joey Votto? Half of baseball fans today probably couldn't tell you because his great play is not highlighted. He's not exactly doing what Griffey did on a small-market Mariners team in the '90s, but he is still doing great in obscurity. Justin Verlander is the best pitcher in baseball, and on national commercials, but I would venture to bet the average casual Rockies or Padres fans couldn't pick him out of a lineup. ESPN spends the entire season telling us that the Yankees and Red Sox are the only teams which matter, then everybody is flummoxed when neither team makes it and the ratings are down.

Another thing is, I think Fox has been terrible for the sport. Their coverage seems reluctant at best. "Well, here ya go. Baseball, I guess. Hey! In the stands there's a guy from one of our soon-to-be-cancelled sitcoms. Uhh, we will have football games on Sunday!" They went from trying to make a half-assed splash with KEWL robotic sounds and crap years ago, to now not even pretending to care. Hell, they don't even have baseball-specific theme music anymore. They use the "hard hitting" Fox NFL music, which is an awkward fit at best. Joe Buck is one of the worst announcers in sports, and he surely doesn't bring excitement to things. He said something along the lings of he doesn't consider baseball interesting, and it shows from his broadcasting. His disdain is apparent. It hate Fox's presentation of baseball. I don't think they have done anything to "grow" the sport. Put the playoffs on a different network. Have the announcers wear tuxedos just to show the world series is a BIG DEAL. Have advertising hyping up the World Series as a huge baseball event, not just part of "Foxtober! Big 12 football, NFL football, and then baseball at night!"
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  #22  
Old 10-30-2012, 11:48 AM
TheOldRoman TheOldRoman is offline
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Originally Posted by palehozenychicty View Post
They will also never return to two divisions per league, even if that is the best way to maintain excitement and get the best postseason teams.
Actually, that is one of the worst things they can do at this point. The wildcard has made a lot of teams relevant. Teams who otherwise would be out of it in early August because someone is running away with their division. It brought a lot of people to the park in many cities. Also, fans don't care about "the best teams" making it. They care when the Yankees and Red Sox don't make it, but they don't really care about whether or not a wild card team makes it in. In fact, the wildcard has brought excitement and unpredictability to the sport. If the best team always won, it would be pretty boring. As grating as it might be for the Cadinals to catch fire, squeak in and win it all, it is compelling having them go through the "best rotation ever" in Philadelphia and then the power packed Rangers, the two teams who were the consensus best teams in baseball.
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  #23  
Old 10-30-2012, 12:14 PM
amsteel amsteel is offline
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For the WS the average age of the viewer was over 50 years old. Younger generations don't like baseball as much as NBA, NFL, and possibly NCAA football.

Anyone around my age (late 20s-early 30s) grew up in the age of Micheal Jordan, the 94 MLB strike, and Madden video game football. The only good thing baseball has had all to itself in the last 20 years is the 98 home run chase. And even that turned out to be BS.
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  #24  
Old 10-30-2012, 12:16 PM
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Originally Posted by doublem23 View Post
That and gambling
Legitimate question: Is the rise in interest in the NFL, NBA, and NCAA football and basketball due to increased access to gambling?

Baseball and hockey are terrible sports to bet on. Coincidence?
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  #25  
Old 10-30-2012, 12:23 PM
Lip Man 1 Lip Man 1 is offline
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This column from a few years ago touches somewhat on the points being brought up in this thread. Might be worth a re-read to you:

http://www.whitesoxinteractive.com/r...gory=2&id=3016

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  #26  
Old 10-30-2012, 12:26 PM
WhiffleBall WhiffleBall is offline
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Originally Posted by TheOldRoman View Post
Have the announcers wear tuxedos just to show the world series is a BIG DEAL.
Twinkle and Stink at your service:

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  #27  
Old 10-30-2012, 01:17 PM
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FielderJones FielderJones is offline
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Originally Posted by DumpJerry View Post
I think you have some very valid points here. Whenever you watch a national NFL show, especially on Sunday morning, you would be hard pressed to figure out which teams are the most popular nation-wide. They talk about each team in the same terms. The 1-6 teams get coverage as much as the 6-1 teams. This allows the casual fan (i.e., the one who does not spend many hours each week on football sites reading up on the players and teams and reading all the football publications that are out there) to easily get working knowledge of each team. Also by having numerous teams on MNF, there isn't that "Yankees/Red Sox again" feeling on Monday nght and each team gets at least one turn on Thursday night also helps spread out the knowledge.
This is key. NFL markets all their teams, and so are not reliant on media darlings to make the playoffs relevant. MLB dropped the ball into the lap of ESPN, which has no interest in marketing 30 teams. The Fox postseason broadcasting team is a disaster.

Most NFL regular season programming is on network television, but most MLB regular season programming is on local cable. It's easy for the casual fan to follow out-of-market NFL teams, but you have to get a package to follow out-of-market MLB teams.
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  #28  
Old 10-30-2012, 01:37 PM
34 Inch Stick 34 Inch Stick is offline
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I have always thought that having any part of the playoffs on cable tv is bad for creating interest. The World Series should be the final act in the drama of the baseball championship tournament. However, you are asking a small but significant portion of the population to drop in at the end of the show after all the character development has taken place. Even within the group of cable holders, TBS is not a primary choice for those casually interested in sports. The early round games take an affirmative effort on the part of viewers to find which is an impediment to maximizing viewing.

If I were MLB, I would be willing to take a little bit of hit in profits to get these games on CBS, NBC or ABC with Fox running a distant 4th and ESPN/MLBTV being used for complimentary coverage.
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  #29  
Old 10-30-2012, 01:40 PM
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Originally Posted by TheOldRoman View Post
I wasn't alive in the '70s, so I can't say for sure. Maybe my memories of the '90s are clouded because I was still young. However, baseball coverage (ESPN) took a HUGE turn towards Yankees/Red Sox 24/7 around the turn of the century. In the '90s the Indians were a small market team which had huge national appeal. Of course, we haven't had a small market team come out and dominate a division while winning two pennants and having many superstar players since then, so there is no true comparison. I don't think those Indians would be hyped up as much in this day. Casual fans don't know stars unless they play for their team or a division rival. Who the hell is Joey Votto? Half of baseball fans today probably couldn't tell you because his great play is not highlighted. He's not exactly doing what Griffey did on a small-market Mariners team in the '90s, but he is still doing great in obscurity. Justin Verlander is the best pitcher in baseball, and on national commercials, but I would venture to bet the average casual Rockies or Padres fans couldn't pick him out of a lineup. ESPN spends the entire season telling us that the Yankees and Red Sox are the only teams which matter, then everybody is flummoxed when neither team makes it and the ratings are down.

Another thing is, I think Fox has been terrible for the sport. Their coverage seems reluctant at best. "Well, here ya go. Baseball, I guess. Hey! In the stands there's a guy from one of our soon-to-be-cancelled sitcoms. Uhh, we will have football games on Sunday!" They went from trying to make a half-assed splash with KEWL robotic sounds and crap years ago, to now not even pretending to care. Hell, they don't even have baseball-specific theme music anymore. They use the "hard hitting" Fox NFL music, which is an awkward fit at best. Joe Buck is one of the worst announcers in sports, and he surely doesn't bring excitement to things. He said something along the lings of he doesn't consider baseball interesting, and it shows from his broadcasting. His disdain is apparent. It hate Fox's presentation of baseball. I don't think they have done anything to "grow" the sport. Put the playoffs on a different network. Have the announcers wear tuxedos just to show the world series is a BIG DEAL. Have advertising hyping up the World Series as a huge baseball event, not just part of "Foxtober! Big 12 football, NFL football, and then baseball at night!"
A lot of good points here, especially in the second paragraph. That Buck-McCarver announcing team is so horrible that I actually think I get stupider listening to them. There were at least five occasions during the World Series where I said either aloud or to myself, "What the hell are you talking about, McCarver?"

Early in Game 4 during his "scouting report," McCarver suggested Matt Cain junk his slider because he had hung a few too many of them in his previous start against St. Louis. Ummm.... Ok, so let me get this straight: Cain, after using his slider as an out pitch against right-handed hitters all season, is supposed to just subtract that pitch from his repertoire in one of the biggest starts of his career. Yeah, that makes sense. Thanks for the insight, Tim. I'm sure Cain and Posey will take that suggestion into consideration.
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  #30  
Old 10-30-2012, 02:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Brian26 View Post
I think part of the problem is that people now have more entertainment options at home. Before satellite/cable, most people were lucky to have a half dozen channels. Casual fans would watch the World Series just because it was on. Now, there are hundreds of channels, internet, dvr, on demand movies, etc.
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Originally Posted by DSpivack View Post
Baseball is the 2nd most popular sport, and TV revenue has never been higher. The health of the sport is perfectly fine.
I agree with both statements even though at first glance they would seem to contradict each other. If the sports/entertainment pie is cut into more pieces (and there's no doubt that it has), it wouldn't follow that baseball is collecting record revenues. But both are still true.

Television is what drives this. They figured out some years ago that producing a sports broadcast is cheaper than producing a sitcom or a movie. The ratio of ad revenue to costs is higher for sports, even with the oceans of money Fox and ESPN (owned by Disney) throw around in rights fees. Even is 1981, the Tribune company was so concerned about losing WGN-TV's rights to the Cubs that they bought the team; doing that guaranteed that Channel 9 would have hundreds of hours of economical programming.

The difference now is in scale. Fox and ESPN pay billions in rights fees, and MLB teams have gotten savvy enough to work out their own local deals for radio and TV, some of them owning their own local networks. The moneymaking potential for broadcasters is so great that there's plenty of money for all sports. Hell, there's even a full-time golf channel.

The World Series? It's the final act in the six-month-long MLB TV show. As long as overall revenue is high (and it is), MLB doesn't have any real incentive to promote it to the prominence it held in previous generations. Pete Rozelle and the NFL were 50 years ahead of MLB in understanding how to promote their sport, and it's no coincidence that the Super Bowl is, for all practical purposes, a national holiday.

MLB could still do that but they've got a lot of catching up to do. It makes no sense that the deciding game of the World Series didn't end until 11:00 p.m. on a weeknight. This is MLB's Super Bowl, but they've handed the keys to the Fox network. We're subjected to the too-cool-for-school dronings of Joe Buck and the inanities of Tim McCarver, who spend way too much time promoting other TV shows.

As long as the TV checks have lots of zeros and clear the bank, I don't see much of this changing. I hope I'm wrong.
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