Business of Baseball Report

World Series Ratings Hit Record Low

For those baseball fans who thought that the 2006 World Series between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Detroit Tigers lacked excitement, you’re not alone. The five game series set a record low with an average television rating of 10.1. That’s almost 10% lower then the previous record, which was set last year. The 2005 World Series between the Chicago White Sox and Houston Astros set the previous record with an average television rating of 11.1.

As you would expect, some of the individual games also set records. Games 1, 3 and 4 all set record lows for their respective games and Games 2 and 5 barely beat out the former lows.

One solution for next year is to have fewer weekend games. Over the past few years, the World Series has historically started on a Saturday, meaning four games (1, 2, 6 and 7) would take place on a Saturday or a Sunday. Beginning next year, the World Series will begin on Tuesday, meaning there will only be one weekend that has World Series games.

Not everyone was a loser though. General Motors (GM) apparently cashed in by receiving a ton of exposure in the first two games in Detroit. Joyce, Julius and Associates, a Michigan based company that rates the effectiveness of sponsorships, estimated that GM gained $10.5 million worth of in-game exposure. This included cuts between innings to the Chevy trucks out in the outfield and the GM headquarters, which is easily seen from Comerica Park.

A’s Move Flagship Radio Station to FM

The Oakland Athletics announced this week that they’ll be moving their flagship radio station from KYCY 1550AM to KIFR 106.9FM. The primary reason for the change is that KYCY apparently doesn’t have a strong enough signal strength. Tthe move should provide better coverage throughout the Bay Area.

That doesn’t mean KYCY is losing coverage of the games. They just won’t be the primary station for the team. The Athletics will join the Atlanta Braves and the Washington Nationals as teams that air their games locally over both AM and FM.

Washington Nationals Hope to Cash in Early on New Stadium

The Washington Nationals aren’t moving into their new stadium until 2008 (at least that’s the hope). That’s not stopping the team from trying to cash in on their new stadium. Fans who buy season tickets for the 2007 will be guaranteed seats at the new stadium in 2008. This is a common ploy that teams use when they’re set to open a new stadium. I know that in the final season at Tiger Stadium, there was a ton of interest in season tickets because it guaranteed you a spot at the new stadium.

CBA Roundup

I still haven’t been able to get my hands on a copy of the new collective bargaining agreement (CBA) between Major League Baseball (MLB) and the Major League Baseball Player’s Association (MLBPA), but it’s out there and it’s now considered in place since the World Series is over. As the days go by, more and more people are writing about the specifics surrounding the new CBA.

This Twin City Pioneer Press column talks about how the changes to the rules for compensating teams who lose players to free agency will affect the Minnesota Twins. There’s a South Florida Sun Sentinel column that discusses how the new revenue sharing rules will help the Florida Marlins and the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, and this Cleveland Plain Dealer column talks about the role that Cleveland Indians owner Larry Dolan played in the negotiations. And this Boston Globe column takes a more general look at many of the changes we’ll see in the new CBA.

Finally, there were two great columns about the CBA over at Baseball Prospectus. Maury Brown took a long look at the revenue sharing rules in his Ledger Domain and Kevin Goldstein discussed the new rules surrounding when teams will have to sign their draft picks.

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