Evan Weiner with the Politics of Sports Business

 

While the sports media keeps pushing the Mets-Cubs National League
Championship Series and how well it is doing ratings wise, neither the
Mets-Cubs series nor the Blue Jays-Royals series in the American
League is lighting up the Nielsen TV ratings scoreboard.

I’m Evan Weiner with the Politics of Sports Business.

It is a fair assessment, Major League Baseball is long past the old
nickname of America’s Pastime. More people are interested in watching
football both college and the pros. Sunday night’s NFL matchup between
New England and Indianapolis on over-the-air NBC TV tripled the
ratings of the Mets-Cubs game on cable TV, TBS. The New York and
Chicago markets are the two of the top three in the country with New
York at 1 and Chicago at 3. It appears when the cable TV ratings come
out later today that AMC’s Walking Dead will beat out the Mets-Cubs
game on TBS Sunday night. So what has happened to baseball, a game
that the French philosopher Jacques Barzan once noted was essential to
Americans. Whoever wants to know the heart and mind of America had
better learn baseball, the rules and realities of the game — and do it
by watching first some high school or small-town teams. That was
Barzan.

Baseball was surpassed by football in popularity and that happened in
1965. In 1950, baseball, horse racing and boxing were Americans three
favorite sports. But with television needing programming, other sports
were given exposure, football, basketball, golf, hockey and even
boxing although boxing would gradually fade out and become a niche
sport. A few generations back the World Series was the crown jewel of
American team sports and baseball seemed to have no competition. In
2015, the baseball playoff competition includes football, soccer,
hockey and pre-season basketball and other sports. Sure baseball is
stuffed with money thanks to TV today but it is just another sport.
The Mets-Cubs ratings aren’t much to write home about, eight or nine
million viewers. Baseball is no longer the national pastime.

This article was republished with permission from the original publisher, Evan Weiner

 

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