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Is MLB Popularity Dwindling with Young Fans?

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Dodgers Justin Turner hits a game-winning three-run home run against the Cubs. Photo: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times

Today is the start of baseball’s biggest event, the 2017 World Series. Once a very popular American pastime, baseball has begun to dwindle. Less and less people are watching baseball on TV and fans are getting increasingly older. In fact, only 14% of Americans consider baseball as their favorite sport.

Ten years ago, children aged 6 to 17 made up 7% of the TV audience for postseason games. Today, the percentage stands at 4%. In fact, only 20% of 18- to 29-year-old Major League Baseball (MLB) fans follow the sport somewhat closely or very closely. These numbers indicate that baseball simply isn’t making a connection with younger people.

Despite these negative trends in MLB viewership, this year’s World Series is looking to produce the best figure since 2011, with a predicted audience of 4.9 million viewers. What tactics are helping the MLB to regain more fans?

In an effort to reach new audiences, especially younger ones, the MLB has entered the digital world. From streaming games online to becoming the top U.S. sports app, baseball is now easier than ever for fans to watch and interact with. In fact, MLB.com was the second-most viewed sports website in 2015.

Discover more about how the MLB has reversed their drop in viewership and entered the digital world in the infographic below created by Ohio University’s Online Master of Athletic Administration degree program.

MLB and Young Fans

Ohio University

By Audrey Willis

Audrey Willis grew up playing basketball, baseball, taekwondo, volleyball, and was even the captain of her high school lacrosse team. Having a degree in journalism, she is passionate about writing and loves every chance she gets to pair it with her love for sports. Keep up with Audrey on Twitter or Linkedin. 

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