BOB:  World Series ratings

2012 World Series sets record low rating

While the San Francisco Giants sweep over the Detroit Tigers had its share of drama, fewer people tuned in than for any other World Series. The four games averaged a 7.6 rating and a 12 share. The previous rating low of 8.4 was in 2008 and then tied in 2010. The best draw was Game Four, which had an 8.9/14.

With the exception of last year’s seven-game nail biter, World Series ratings have been on the decline. I remember the last time the Tigers were in the World Series, in 2006, the series set a record low and things have gone further downhill since. Of course people are checking into the games in different ways. With games on Friday and Saturday, I’m sure a lot of people saw the game but didn’t watch it from home. The game wasn’t on MLB.TV, but you could always virtually watch the game via Gamecenter on your phone. It’ll be interesting to see how MLB Advanced Media can track this kind of activity in the future.

St. Petersburg formalizes opposition to Rays stadium search

A letter indicates that things just got serious. St. Petersburg mayor Bill Foster, in a letter to Tampa Bay Rays owner Stuart Sternberg, rejected the team’s request to talk to Hillsborough County in its pursuit of a new ballpark. Foster said that if the Rays want a new ballpark, it’s going to be in either St. Petersburg or the Pinellas Gateway area.

Sternberg asked for permission to talk to Hillsborough County last month after a local developer unveiled a plan for a stadium in the Carillon Business Park. Sternberg said the only way he would consider a new ballpark in the area would be if he’s allowed to look outside of St. Petersburg. Hence the stand off.

Selig noncommittal on Athletics relocation

While it wasn’t quite on par with “I can neither confirm nor deny,” when Los Angeles Times reporter Bill Shaikin asked MLB commissioner Bud Selig about the Athletics stadium situation, Selig said he’d like to move faster but he won’t because everyone has to be satisfied with the result. Of course, this is why we’re in a standoff. As noted at Field of Schemes, this can’t happen. There’s going to be some sort of loser whether it be the Giants in their regional rights or the Athletics in their pursuit of a new ballpark.

The Athletics are looking to extend their lease with the Oakland Coliseum for another five years. While this isn’t a resolution, it looks like it means all of the parties involved will have some extra time to get this done.

Spring training roundup

Now that the season is over, we have spring training to look forward to and there is some news on that front. The Minnesota Twins are getting closer to a facelift for their spring training home in Fort Myers, Fla.. A proposal presented last week to the Lee County Board of County Commissioners calls for a $45.5 million deal to renovate Hammond Stadium and enhance the surrounding facility. The stadium would get about 1,300 more seats and there would be wider concourses, renovated concessions and rest rooms, and more shaded area.

The commissioners’ vote is supposed to be next week and, according to the local paper, the measure is expected to pass. The Twins are going to pay $13.8 million, partly by an increase in rent. The county and the state of Florida would pitch in for the rest. The hope is to have the renovations done by 2015 when the Twins’ lease ends. As a condition of the renovations, the Twins would sign a new 30-year lease.

Also in Florida, the Houston Astros’ lease with the Osceola County Stadium ends in 2015 and Kissimmee officials are looking at building a two-sport complex and trying to draw the Washington Nationals to the area. The Nationals are also talking to Lee County about moving to Palm Springs, the former spring training home of the Boston Red Sox. The Astros and Nationals have explored a potential joint training complex in the Orlando area, so I’d expect some more chatter on that front in the next few months.

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  1. Marc Schneider said...

    There are lots of reasons, I’m sure why World Series ratings, have gone down, but I suspect that one reason is that the Series has become much less competitive in recent years.  There have been only five 7-game series since 1987 and 8 sweeps.  It’s hard to argue there was much drama this year considering that the Tigers only led once and that was in Game 4. It’s hard to get excited about a Series-unless you are the fan of the team ahead-when one team jumps off to a big lead.  It used to be that you could count on the baseball playoffs, and especially the World Series, for consistently competitive and dramatic games, but that really isn’t the case any more.

  2. Todd said...

    The games weren’t available on in the US, but they were if you were outside the US… or if you were ‘outside’ the US. Someday someone will wake up with regard to blackouts, but until then, my computer will continue to make magical international trips during the playoffs.

  3. David said...

    Face it, people just get burned out on baseball.  By the time football season starts, it’s been 5 months of baseball and people are ready to move on.  But regardless of burn-out or not, if baseball has to go up against football, football will always win.  Not that there aren’t die-hard baseball fans, but I’m talking about the majority of sports fans.

  4. asym said...

    Smart fans have known for years about the decline in skills caused by the All Star break.  That same time period or longer is a common occurrence in the WS – thus the games are not very good.  The LCS is usually a better bet for a good set of games.  8 sweeps show how bad the decline can be, how common was that in the days of the real World Series when it started the day after the season ended??

  5. Krog said...

    I don’t know if people get burned out about baseball. The playoffs are usually pretty exciting. I think people get bummed out about their teams not making the playoffs or having been recently eliminated. Yankees fans don’t seem like the type to cheer on other teams when they’ve been eliminated.

  6. Robby Bonfire said...

    Re low TV World Series ratings, well, hell, if baseball could somehow get back to figuring out how to put the ~REAL~ pennant winners – the two best teams in baseball in the “Fall Classic,” maybe more people would be inspired to tune in.

    This year the regular season pennant winners were the Nationals and the Yankees. I dare say that match-up of “The Machine vs. the Perennial Underdog,” would have sparked a lot of interest.

    Rather than just “complain” about MLB’s current made for TV extended rounds format, let me make the serious recommendation that MLB match the two best respective league regular season champions in the first round of the playoffs, in a seven game series, of course.  That way baseball fans will get to see the best vs. the best, and the survivor of that round will be one step closer to winning it all, if possible.

    Some of us are just really tired of the annual phony WS match-up hype. As things presently stand, Bud Selig and the networks have conspired to destroy what used to be baseball’s championship crowning integrity. Believe me, they can do better and this year’s low TV numbers should at least have them addressing the inequity.

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