Jim & Bob's Palatial Baseball Blog

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

The Rating Is the Hardest Part

Saw a blurb from the AP announcing the sad, sad news that Game One of the World Series was a record low in the TV ratings. It also reported that although ratings for Game Two improved a bit, the overall ratings for the first two games were down five percent from last year. Last year’s Series was the lowest-rated ever.

Shameful. Ignominious. Look for another go-around of the “Baseball is dying because of this and that and the other thing” script that is a favorite of the punditocracy.

However, the AP also notes another semi-interesting fact that won’t be included in the scripts. As shameful and miniscule as the ratings for the first two games were, they were still enough to give Fox the top-rated prime time show both Saturday and Sunday nights.

Yes, the ratings are down compared to thirty years ago. But all network TV ratings are down compared to thirty years ago. If you don’t believe me, compare the ratings for Laverne and Shirley or Three’s Company to The Office or Lost or CSI: Quad Cities or whatever it is you kids watch nowadays. But that would mean looking at the numbers in the context of their time. If baseball’s “experts” can’t be bothered to do that when it comes to ERA or batting average, should we really expect them to do so when it comes to TV ratings?

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