World Series Gets Horrible Ratings
On paper, two big cities on opposite coasts playing against each other seemed like a great recipe for high ratings. However, this World Series earned the fourth-lowest ratings in World Series history. Here's what I think happened.
The games averaged around 14.1 million viewers. Some may think that's not a terrible number, but the audience shrunk 25 percent from last year's average.
First off, and I've been saying this for years, the game is on way too late. I'm not just saying this because I wake up at 3:30 in the morning. With first pitches that start after 8 p.m. Eastern, how can a school-aged kid possibly stay awake long enough to get hooked on the game of baseball? Even if the parents allow kids to stay up, they'll most likely fall asleep, missing any exciting finishes there might be.
Major League Baseball is completely disregarding the value of young people falling in love with the sport. They might earn bigger dollars now by having the marathon games air in prime time, but they'll eventually pay the price when no one cares about the World Series because no one grew up watching it. Judging from these ratings, this change may have already begun.
Another thing that didn't help ratings was Friday night's 18-inning game that stretched into the wee hours of Saturday morning. The game didn't wrap up until quarter to four in the morning. No one's fault there, except that if they had started the game at 5:05 instead of 8:05, more people may have stuck around for the entire marathon game.
Not sure about you, but I even sensed some apathy about the Red Sox in the World Series here at home! The Sox have won so many World Series titles in this century that the audience (even the home audience to some extent) may be getting bored. Let's be honest. If you were around for the 2004 World Series, are you going to tell me that you were just as excited for the 2018 World Series? I didn't think so.