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Monday, July 17, 2017

Despite largest first half ratings drop, Royals still lead MLB in average local rating

But according to John Ourand and David Broughton of the Sports Business Journal, the sport’s local ratings have not been great this season. Per SBD, 18 of the 29 U.S.-based MLB teams have seen ratings fall, with the defending champion Chicago Cubs the most surprising of the laggards.

With a drop of 37%, the Royals have the largest negative ratings change of any team in baseball this season, though they still possess the highest local rating at 7.69. The White Sox, Marlins, Giants, and Pirates have also seen drops of at least 25% this season.

On the other end of the spectrum, the Yankees—thanks to an exciting and successful young team—have seen ratings rise by 54% on YES Network. The Braves have also seen their local ratings jump by an impressive 50% this season….

The news isn’t all bad for baseball, though. According to SBJ, games on Fox and FS1 were up 3 percent through the All-Star Break, while games on ESPN were up 9 percent.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 17, 2017 at 04:54 PM | 13 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: television ratings

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   1. Man o' Schwar Posted: July 17, 2017 at 05:38 PM (#5494879)
I'm not sure why it would be surprising that the Cubs are down 17%. They were the best team in baseball last year, chasing a once in 2- or 3-lifetimes World Series win with an exciting young team that captured national attention. You would think that would lead to higher ratings.

This year, they've been mediocre most of the time, and bad some of the time. I would suspect the vast majority of bandwagon fans who jumped on to be part of 2016 have now departed in 2017 (or at least until they turn it around and get back past the Brewers).

I'm impressed that the Royals dropped 37% and still sit on top of the pile, ratings-wise. That's some local media dominance right there.
   2. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: July 17, 2017 at 06:09 PM (#5494896)
I've spent a lot of time in KC over the past 18 years with my in-laws, and the loyalty for the Chiefs and Royals is widespread and impressive. It's a nice kind of obsession (as compared to us New Englanders, who are probably not so nice about our sports), but the royal blue (or yellow and red of the Chiefs) is everywhere.
   3. ReggieThomasLives Posted: July 17, 2017 at 06:25 PM (#5494908)
Give KC credit, they ramped up payroll hugely as they built that team, and the fans did come.
   4. Man o' Schwar Posted: July 17, 2017 at 06:39 PM (#5494922)
I've spent a lot of time in KC over the past 18 years with my in-laws, and the loyalty for the Chiefs and Royals is widespread and impressive. It's a nice kind of obsession (as compared to us New Englanders, who are probably not so nice about our sports), but the royal blue (or yellow and red of the Chiefs) is everywhere.

I used to have family in KC, along with one of my best friends from college. Even during the very lean years, the Royals always seemed to be front page in the local paper, and a big topic on the nightly news. When I'd visit and go to games, they weren't sell outs, but the fans who were attending were obviously enthusiastic. I'm not surprised that they draw well on TV.
   5. Perry Posted: July 17, 2017 at 06:46 PM (#5494928)
Great fans there. Had a terrific experience attending a Cards/Royals weekend series a few years back (wearing Cards gear). And a couple of times driving through I've tuned into local radio, once catching Fred Patek talking with someone during a long rain delay, once a call-in show focusing on the farm system. If what I heard is typical, Royals fans are really well served by local media, the talk was smart, hard-core, and in-depth.
   6. cardsfanboy Posted: July 17, 2017 at 07:45 PM (#5494952)
I didn't see it in the article or the linked article, but are they comparing overall end of season numbers from last year to now, or is it an equal comparison based upon ratings as of July 15th or something?

   7. Zach Posted: July 17, 2017 at 07:50 PM (#5494954)
I'm not surprised either way. The Royals are a very popular and likeable team, but they started the season playing terribly and they don't have the same World Series halo they had last year.

I'm kind of surprised by the Cubs, though. They also have a very likeable team, and you'd think that the first World Series in forever would result in a longer honeymoon.
   8. Walt Davis Posted: July 17, 2017 at 09:24 PM (#5495002)
The answer to #6 would be quite relevant to the Cubs, as #1 notes the bandwagon fans will have boosted the late season numbers last year and may have jumped off the start of this year. The Cubs are also spread across at least three different channels (WGN, WLS, CSN) which can't help with the casual fan. As #1 also notes, TV is already a more tangential connection. If the Cubs didn't see a jump in season tickets (that's not really possible), tickets sold (not sure that's really possible) or ticket prices -- i.e. no jump in revenue after winning the WS -- then that would be a big surprise.

As to the Royals, it's great that they're "maximizing" their viewership but 7.7% of the KC TV market isn't a massive number of households. Obviously it's better than 5.5%. Nielsen puts the "designated market area" (DMA) of KC at 920,000 households. NYC is over 7 million (I'm guessing that's not the entire metro area). So a 1 rating in NYC is about the same number of households as that 7.7 rating in KC.

The largest DMAs without a team are Orlando (#18, 1.5 M), Charlotte (#22), Raleigh (#24), Portland (#25), Indy (#27), Nashville (#29), Hartford (#30), San Antonio (#31), Columbus (#32) ... then KC (#33), Milwaukee (#34) and Cincy (#36). But the spread is only about 350,000 between Cincy and StL (#21) so those other markets aren't substantially bigger at the moment. And of course there's more to be considered than these DMAs as any team in a city this size also needs to draw regionally to be truly successful, not to mention the local economy, population growth, etc.

Nielsen link
   9. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: July 18, 2017 at 08:05 AM (#5495087)
   10. PreservedFish Posted: July 18, 2017 at 08:58 AM (#5495120)
Great fans there.

I've been to one Royals game - it was 5 years ago - I was impressed by the tailgating scene in the parking lot. Had more of a college football feel than a baseball feel. I liked it.
   11. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: July 18, 2017 at 10:25 AM (#5495172)
Cincy (#36). But the spread is only about 350,000 between Cincy and StL (#21)
FWIW, I was reading an article earlier today that pointed out that if you add Dayton to the Cincinnati DMA, it's a borderline top 20 market. The northern suburbs of Cincinnati and the southern suburbs of Dayton have just about grown into each other, and the Dayton highway bypass (I-675) is ~25 miles from the Cincinnati highway bypass (I-275).

I know - you could do this sort of thing with a bunch of cities (Washington/Baltimore, Tampa/Orlando, Oakland/Sacramento), but I think it's something that's easy for people to miss when they look at the DMA numbers in a vacuum.
   12. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 18, 2017 at 11:20 AM (#5495224)
Thanks for the kind words about Royals fans! Yes, their ratings are high I think because they serve so few people (and frankly, there is not much else to do in KC in the summer). But it is a fairly strong fanbase.

What interested me was that local ratings are down, but national ratings were up. Could be just SSS noise or statistically insignificant, but I found it curious.
   13. Tom Nawrocki Posted: July 18, 2017 at 11:46 AM (#5495242)
NYC is over 7 million (I'm guessing that's not the entire metro area).

The entire New York metro area is a little over 20 million people. At roughly three people per household, that figure contains the whole metro area.

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