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Wednesday, August 06, 2014

MLB Telecasts On Regional Sports Networks Dominate Prime Time Television

Major League Baseball is king during prime time at the regional level thus far this season for regional sports networks (RSNs) winning the key prime time slot in the US markets that Nielsen Media Company tracks.

The data bolsters the position that baseball continues to be a solid programming choice for networks in the summer when the major networks are in reruns.

cardsfanboy Posted: August 06, 2014 at 04:14 PM | 18 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: business, television

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   1. The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: August 06, 2014 at 05:37 PM (#4765888)
There's a lot of good information in the article. All told a game day averages 2.2m+ households, not including the Dodgers and Astros. Even if you decide that a household is only one person and that no one watches the Astros or Dodgers, that's hardly a sign of weakness.

Baseball is a regional sport, and the change away from monoculture has affected it. But it's probably in better financial shape than ever before.
   2. cardsfanboy Posted: August 06, 2014 at 05:44 PM (#4765893)
I think it's a very good article and something that can be expanded upon. I've argued (lots of times) that TV ratings isn't the end all, or be all of popularity, and I never even considered that the summer months are traditionally low rated months(although baseball used to have much higher ratings in the summer than they do now)

I think this is just one data point in the debate, argument or whatever when it comes to talking about popularity, but it does somewhat show why the networks are spending so much money on baseball even if it's ratings aren't in the same ballpark as basketball.
   3. Juan Uribe Marching and Chowder Society Posted: August 06, 2014 at 05:57 PM (#4765905)
it's ratings aren't in the same ballpark as basketball.


Really? That surprises me.
   4. Bug Selig Posted: August 06, 2014 at 06:09 PM (#4765912)
it's ratings aren't in the same ballpark as basketball.


Basketball - the Ford Focus of the sports world.
   5. cardsfanboy Posted: August 06, 2014 at 06:14 PM (#4765915)

Really? That surprises me.


Haven't checked recently, but in all the debates I've participated on tv ratings and sports, people bring in that NBA is outdrawing MLB in tv ratings, proving that MLB is a sport on the way out, and that MLB needs to fix this by eliminating intentional walks, mid inning reliever changes and a host of other insane ideas, or some type of argument like that,
   6. Juan Uribe Marching and Chowder Society Posted: August 06, 2014 at 06:26 PM (#4765923)
It has always bothered me that in basketball and football a team is allowed to manipulate the rules to either save or waste time. Deliberate fouls and throwing the ball out of bounds come to mind. It would be like if a team on offense in baseball could eliminate the bottom half of the ninth inning by bunting three straight times in the top of the ninth.

I still like those sports, but their end-game tactics cheapen them for me somewhat.
   7. The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: August 06, 2014 at 06:56 PM (#4765946)
but in all the debates I've participated on tv ratings and sports


I always heard this in the context of national ratings, rather than regional sports network/aggregate ratings. Which is why I'm happy to see this article, it's the first time I can recall seeing an almost complete set of ratings for MLB on RSNs.
   8. cardsfanboy Posted: August 06, 2014 at 07:01 PM (#4765950)
It has always bothered me that in basketball and football a team is allowed to manipulate the rules to either save or waste time. Deliberate fouls and throwing the ball out of bounds come to mind. It would be like if a team on offense in baseball could eliminate the bottom half of the ninth inning by bunting three straight times in the top of the ninth.


What bothers me about those sports is that their end game tactics are in some respects, in direct opposition of the "goal" of the game. In all clock timed sports, when you have a lead, instead of continuing to poor it on for more scoring, you attempt to 'speed the clock'....it just seems wrong to me.

In baseball you might decided to sacrifice a chance at a homerun for a chance at advancing a runner, but at no point in time during a baseball game is the team on offense, attempting to not score. (as you pointed out, bunting three straight times in the ninth just to move the game along)

I've argued (only half seriously) that basketball would be a game I could enjoy, if they played to a score instead of played against a clock. That way the teams would try to score, which is what people want to see (note: Not saying that they want to see high scoring, as there is absolutely a group of people that enjoy a well defended game, but the fans want to see the teams trying) Play a game to 100, a quarter to 25...you'll eliminate some of that time management nonsense and see the best athletics available on both sides of the ball.

Not sure how you could do it with football, as the game is built on time management more than the other ball in goal sports.
   9. cardsfanboy Posted: August 06, 2014 at 07:02 PM (#4765953)

I always heard this in the context of national ratings, rather than regional sports network/aggregate ratings. Which is why I'm happy to see this article, it's the first time I can recall seeing an almost complete set of ratings for MLB on RSNs.


Agree, I've hunted this stuff down and always had problems finding it, you'll see articles talking about the Red Sox, Cardinals, Reds and Tigers have the best local ratings, but never with any more detail than a couple of teams, if you are lucky you might see top 5 teams in an article.
   10. Dillon Gee Escape Plan Posted: August 06, 2014 at 07:55 PM (#4765976)
What, no "baseball is dying" tag?
   11. TerpNats Posted: August 06, 2014 at 10:10 PM (#4766017)
This explains why the Nats would like to escape the clutches of Cuban Pete and MASN, which most Washington fans regard as a Baltimore channel (it has no other D.C.-area teams, aside from occasional George Mason and Georgetown basketball games).
   12. McCoy Posted: August 06, 2014 at 10:15 PM (#4766024)
Why would anyone care about what else is on the station if you're interested in watching a specific team play?
   13. TerpNats Posted: August 06, 2014 at 10:27 PM (#4766032)
Why would anyone care about what else is on the station if you're interested in watching a specific team play?
There's still resentment in Washington over the TV deal, and MASN really isn't ingrained in the D.C. mindset (unlike Comcast SportsNet, which carries the Capitals, Wizards, many University of Maryland sports and a number of Redskins programs).
   14. Walt Davis Posted: August 07, 2014 at 12:04 AM (#4766074)
Mostly, although "pitching to the score" -- i.e throw strikes, make them hit their way on -- is a form of a small concession in the hopes of reducing the chances of giving up multiple runs. Similarly with "defensive indifference" and I suppose even guarding the lines, not caring about the lead runner, etc. But those are minor tactics compared to the QB kneeling on the ball 3 times.
   15. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: August 07, 2014 at 12:12 AM (#4766079)
What bothers me about those sports is that their end game tactics are in some respects, in direct opposition of the "goal" of the game. In all clock timed sports, when you have a lead, instead of continuing to poor it on for more scoring, you attempt to 'speed the clock'....it just seems wrong to me.



Mostly, although "pitching to the score" -- i.e throw strikes, make them hit their way on -- is a form of a small concession in the hopes of reducing the chances of giving up multiple runs. Similarly with "defensive indifference" and I suppose even guarding the lines, not caring about the lead runner, etc. But those are minor tactics compared to the QB kneeling on the ball 3 times.


Intentional walks and sacrifice bunts are the two most common examples of the phenomenon in baseball. And the most clear-cut examples of acting directly counter to one's usual aims are on rare display during beat-the-upcoming-rain-delay theater.

Now, the true goal of football is to have more points than your opponent at the end of 60 minutes (or 48), and thus kneel-downs are perfectly consistent with that. Along those lines, I've never really understood why this tactic so gets under the skin of some folks, but I'm sure I am similarly rankled by things that others simply shrug off.
   16. Flynn Posted: August 07, 2014 at 06:43 AM (#4766129)

Haven't checked recently, but in all the debates I've participated on tv ratings and sports, people bring in that NBA is outdrawing MLB in tv ratings, proving that MLB is a sport on the way out, and that MLB needs to fix this by eliminating intentional walks, mid inning reliever changes and a host of other insane ideas, or some type of argument like that,


The NBA does better nationally, but much worse locally in many instances. Which makes sense - it's a league where only a handful of teams are really relevant at one time.
   17. just plain joe Posted: August 07, 2014 at 08:21 AM (#4766139)
I've argued (only half seriously) that basketball would be a game I could enjoy, if they played to a score instead of played against a clock. That way the teams would try to score, which is what people want to see (note: Not saying that they want to see high scoring, as there is absolutely a group of people that enjoy a well defended game, but the fans want to see the teams trying) Play a game to 100, a quarter to 25...you'll eliminate some of that time management nonsense and see the best athletics available on both sides of the ball.


One way to lessen, if not eliminate, the deliberate fouls at the end of basketball games is to simply give, after "X" number of fouls, the offended team the ball out of bounds in addition to the free throws. I don't really watch football so I don't have an opinion on that sport.
   18. Mirabelli Dictu (Chris McClinch) Posted: August 07, 2014 at 12:26 PM (#4766310)
And the most clear-cut examples of acting directly counter to one's usual aims are on rare display during beat-the-upcoming-rain-delay theater.


This was the scenario I was going to mention. With an impending rain delay, the team that's ahead will intentionally make outs to try to get five innings in the books, while the team that's trailing would rather allow baserunners and even runs than record outs. It just doesn't happen as often.

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