Could MLB’s Postseason TV Ratings Be Down?

Television ratings are a fickle thing. Not the easiest for the average fan to glean info from (Is share better than total household numbers, or…?), the numbers are a source of saying that a sporting event was popular or not (for the record last year was a hit, due to the return of the Yankees to the postseason. Plus, ratings internationally were very high)

With the 2010 postseason nearly upon us, the question will once again be, “Is baseball drifting from the collective conscious of America?” Media – often of the radio ilk – has had a field day talking of how the Super Bowl, a ratings juggernaut, is “x amount” better than the World Series.

There’s little discounting that the Super Bowl is far more popular than anything that a sport that offers a best of seven series can offer. The drama of a single game for all the marbles creates a massive event-driven atmosphere.

So, for MLB, the best form of competition is with itself. How ratings fare from one year to another dictates how much interest diehard, as well as fringe fans, have interest.

At its simplest level, MLB’s postseason ratings game boils down to two things: market size, and brand power. More often than not, the two are intertwined, with some exceptions (this would be you, St. Louis).

With the regular season about to end, the “bad thing”, if you want to call it that, is one of likely lower ratings than in recent years. Only the future knows how the level of play is, but we could witness some of the greatest baseball played and not have it resonate with a national viewing audience from sea-to-shining-sea. In that sense, Bud Selig, and fans of parity, gets what we’ve been asking for: variety. Television execs may not be so happy.

Here’s why… Based upon the standings today, these are the teams that will, or could make the postseason:

  • Yankees
  • Twins
  • Rangers
  • Rays
  • Phillies
  • Braves
  • Reds
  • Giants
  • Padres
  • Rockies

For the likes of FOX and TBS the ratings game hinges almost exclusively on the Yankees. With no Cubs, Dodgers, or Red Sox in play, the biggest brands from large markets are absent from this year’s crop of teams. To make lemonade out of “ratings lemons”, the networks are looking at the Braves and the Phillies to be the National League storyline to pin their best hopes for the most viewers in the World Series. The choice between them is somewhat of a coin flip. Both come from large markets, with postseason history. If the Phillies were to make the World Series, it would mark the third time in as many years that they had done as much, something that hasn’t happened since Yankees did so from 1999-2001 (technically, they had 4 straight years in the WS starting in 1998). If they were to win the Series, the “dynasty discussion” would start making the rounds. On the flip side, some fans might be turned off by a repeat of last year’s Series match-up.

If the Braves were to go deep into the postseason and make the World Series, it would mark the first time back since 1999, and mark the return to the postseason since 2005. The advantage of the Braves from a ratings perspective lies in their market location (the South) and broad natural appeal that still lingers from TBS having them as their flagship before reaching their deal with MLB to become a national broadcast outlet (now, the Braves are treated equally with their other MLB brothers).

All this isn’t to say that the networks wouldn’t have storylines to work from with the other teams. The story for the Reds would be the first trip to the postseason since 1995, and who knows how many Big Red Machine references there’d be? If the Rockies were to make the postseason, it would be a near mirror image of the white-hot run they made in 2007. For the Rays, there will be talk of their run in 2008.

For the Twins, it marks the first time the club has gone back-to-back to the postseason since 2002-04 and a return after meeting the Yankees last year in the ALDS. The Twins will also get to play postseason ball in Target Field, which was unveiled this season.

For the Giants it would mark the first time back to the postseason since 2003, and for the Padres, it would mean returning to the postseason for the first time since going back-to-back to the NLDS in 2005-06.

Finally, there are the Rangers, who out of Tom Hicks’ bumbled bankruptcy, are returning to the postseason for the first time in over a decade. The “Claw and Antlers” marketing, and the feel good story of Chuck Greenberg and Nolan Ryan winning at auction just a few short months ago, would give the playoffs a Texas-sized market hungry for a return to the playoffs.

But, back to the ratings machine… Maybe… Just maybe, what’s needed is a shock to the system. Maybe what’s needed is a Rockies vs. Rays World Series. In it, we get two expansion clubs that have shown recent brilliance, and yet, have no storied history upon which to lean. It would prove that the runs by the clubs (Rockies in 2007 and Rays in 2008) give the small-to-mid-markets a real chance, and make for compelling and competitive baseball. It would cause the networks (and fringe fans) to rethink baseball beyond the Pablum diet of Red Sox and Yankee tilts that ESPN and FOX jam down fans’ throats, giving baseball a near brainwashed state; as if there were no other compelling storylines. And, in the end, if runs of this nature were to continue season after season, networks would actually gain some cover. After all, as this season shows, there’s  more than one flavor of teams cycling up and down in the standings, and therefore, instead of living with all their eggs in one basket, fans (and networks) might be more apt to follow all of MLB’s clubs, not just a handful of large market teams.

Still, chances are good that another trip to the World Series is in store for the Yankees this year. FOX and TBS are hoping so. But if not, let’s look past the markets and the brands and get on bended knee… pray for great, great games. Pray that what we get from teams that haven’t had regular postseason runs is incredibly compelling baseball. In that, the networks grow ratings for the future…. Or, at least we can all hope.




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Maury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey, as well as a contributor to FanGraphs and Forbes SportsMoney. He is available for freelance and looks forward to your comments.


68 Responses to “Could MLB’s Postseason TV Ratings Be Down?”

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  1. cutchisaboss says:

    Dude the Rockies made their run in 2007, not 2006.

    But I agree with what you said about how we could see some of the best playoff baseball ever this year and no one would watch it.

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  2. Kevin S. says:

    Rocktober was ’07, not ’06.

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  3. Tim says:

    Braves made the playoffs in 2005, 2004, 2003, AND 2002.

    Please fact check.

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  4. Maury Brown says:

    Thanks all. Lesson learned…Never use Baseball-Reference’s postseason page as halfway down the page Sean shifts from three letter code to common language (e..g. ATL and Atlanta Braves). Rockies date is a gaffe on my part.

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  5. joeIQ says:

    Can you explain the part about the St Louis and the “expetion” to brand name and market size?

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    • dfgsdfg says:

      Second this

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    • Ted says:

      I believe the author is simply making the point that the popularity of brands are tied to the size of the market in general (Yankees, Phillies, Cubs, Dodgers, Giants). The Cardinals are the exception to the general rule by having a much larger brand then would be expected in their market size.

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  6. Tom says:

    A very questionable article.

    Only two of the 10 of the realistic playoff contenders plays in what could be reasonably called a “small market.”

    By Market Size according to http://www.tvb.org/rcentral/markettrack/us_hh_by_dma.asp
    :
    1. New York
    4. Philadelphia
    5. Dallas-Ft.Worth
    6. San Francisco Bay area
    8. Atlanta
    14. Tampa Bay area
    15. Minneapolis-St.Paul
    16. Denver

    28. San Diego
    33. Cincinnati

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    • Chris says:

      What’s funny about this comment is that half way down you see a picture and a blurb that reads:

      Maury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is available for hire or freelance. Brown’s full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

      I think he knows, lol.

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  7. Maury Brown says:

    You’ll note I said “brands” as well. That’s a key element

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  8. Maury Brown says:

    What I want to know from readers…. Is a Rays – Rockies Workd Series a good thing for MLB? Remember… This is about the game’s popularity. Is having the Yankees in the World Series good or bad?

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    • Chris says:

      I think so if only for the reasons that you mentioned. At one point the Reds were the best team in baseball (waaaaay back before TV) but now they’re viewed as scrubs on the rise, haunted by the memory of the Big Red Machine and it’s achievements.

      You have to start some where to create a legend for yourself like the Yankees and Red Sox. These are two newish teams that have seen post-season success in the past (07 for Rox, 08 for TB). Both are good *young* clubs with good draft / trade histories behind them to set them up for continued success.

      Given the opportunity to get fair coverage / treatment from the national media instead of being spoon fed big brand crap every year can do nothing but create larger fan bases, and God knows TB needs more fans.

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    • Omar says:

      I’m biased, but I’m going to go ahead and say it’s a good thing, especially this year. They still house several of the games most well known stars, as well as several players who MLB should market as outstanding stand up “good guys” such as CC Sabathia, Curtis Granderson, and Derek Jeter. So yes, I would say having Mark Teixeira, CC Sabathia, Alex Rodriguez, Derek Jeter, Robinson Cano, and Mariano Rivera in the World Series is a good thing for baseball.

      I’m also going to say that they’ll need to market this postseason a bit differently, they’ll need to talk up guys like Buster Posey, Jason Heyward, and some of the other younger players.

      It’s a bad thing for baseball, financially at least, to not have the playoffs on ESPN. ESPN is a non-stop constant hype machine. They’d hype the hell out of their post season games and make sure that Sports Center viewers know who Joey Votto, Buster Posey, Carlos Gonzalez, Tommy Hanson, Adrian Gonzalez and Francisco Liriano are; and more importantly they would make sure that viewers would want to watch them play in October.

      On a side note, I think that MLB should take this opportunity to try to get some more black fans. There’s plenty of outstanding black players, who are also good figures for the game in this year’s post season:

      CC Sabathia, Ryan Howard, Curtis Granderson, Jason Heyward, and Carl Crawford are superstars, they should use this as an opportunity to get back a fanbase that they may have lost over the years.

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    • Teej says:

      I’d say having the Yankees in the World Series is good for baseball. But never showing any small-market teams on national TV during the six-month regular season is bad for baseball. The networks have only themselves to blame when a team like Tampa Bay or Colorado makes it to the World Series. The casual fans turn off the TV because they don’t know who the players are because they’ve been given a steady diet of Yankees-Red Sox games every Sunday evening.

      I’d love to watch a Colorado-Tampa Bay World Series. But I doubt my father would, or my young cousin, because the narrative they’re familiar with doesn’t include those teams.

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    • Alex says:

      No, the Rays in the WS is horrible for baseball (from an MLB TV perspective). They have no fan support, local or national. They are a great team but no one is excited to see them. Anyone but the Rays, Evan Longoria is almost a household name, David Price is almost a house hold name but they haven’t won enough national awards (MVPs, Cy Youngs) etc, they are almost too good of a team as opposed to a group of individuals, ala the Yankees. The Rays will have that big empty stadium with either no one in the seats, or a tarp over the seats so they don’t look empty. Rockies are ok, Giants vs Yankees would be better, more of a tie in NY History, gets the west coast. Lincecum is very well known, etc.

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  9. Omar says:

    Since the Cowboys blow the bored Cowboys fans may watch the Rangers too…also consider that.

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  10. Mike says:

    I am very tired of the Red Sox/Yankees on ESPN and FOX every weekend they play.. I am a Red Sox fan, but also a baseball fan. I’d love the see more variety on the national stage, I would also like to see less Red Sox games with Tim McCarver, Joe Buck and Joe Morgan.

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  11. chuckb says:

    I think the thing that hurts baseball the most is that most of the best postseason baseball figures to be played in the ALDS and ALCS. I think it doesn’t matter so much whether the Yankees or Rays are in the Series if the Series is another 4-1 clunker. A competitive 6 or 7 game World Series is what baseball needs and that’s about getting the NL’s best team to be about as good as the AL’s best.

    Personally, I’d love a Rays-Rockies or Twins-Rockies World Series but I’m a baseball fan and I’m going to watch anyway. It may hurt baseball in the short run, but I think it’s better for the MLB in the long run, particularly if they’re able to fight it out for 6 or 7 games.

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    • Max says:

      I disagree with you about the best baseball in the AL. The NL seems to be much more evenly matched, and I think, will make for better entertainment value.

      Would a 7th game really add that much? Last year went 4-2, and was hardly a clunker. Year before tht was 4-1 but had that crazy finish in game 5, not sure if that hurt or helped, but it was weird. And if the Phils make it to the WS again, they’ve proven they have the horse in a 7 game series to hang with whomever makes it from the AL.

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  12. Mike D says:

    I’m getting a little picky here, but the last team to make it to the Series for three straight years are the ’99-’01 Yankees, not the ’98-’00 Yankees

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  13. Andrew says:

    Maury, would Bobby Cox’s last season play into the marketing hopes? I would think that the fringe national Braves’ audience would tune in more in the earlier rounds (while I would expect full attention if the Braves make the World Series).

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    • Bobo says:

      Are you nuts? There is no fringe Braves audience. They don’t even have an audience in Atlanta for goodness sake. Would you really get interested watching the Braves in the playoffs when they can’t even sell out their own home stadium? Same thing with the Rays. They have a great team and a whole bunch of empy seats.

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      • Nitram Odarp says:

        Which is of course why Fox chooses to show many Braves games on Saturdays throughout the southeast, right? The Braves don’t draw that well because the stadium is on the opposite side of downtown from where the fans live, the city has terrible traffic, and a large percentage of the city’s population is from other parts of the country. Their TV ratings on the other hand are very good because most of the SE still considers the Braves their team. Its tough for fans from Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, northern Florida, and the Carolinas to make the trip to Turner Field, but that doesn’t keep them from watching on TV.

        Oh and don’t compare the Braves and Rays fans. The Braves draw ~7000 extra fans per game. That’s an extra 1/2 million fans per season. Not really comparable at all.

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      • T says:

        Well, I can’t speak for all of the South, but I know for a fact that the Braves have a large following in North Carolina.

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  14. Luke in MN says:

    On the most superficial level possible: I don’t think the Rays are good for postseason ratings because their stadium doesn’t look beautiful on fancy flat screen TVs like almost all the others do.

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  15. JoeDE says:

    It also might have something to do with just how terrible the national announcing for the playoffs is. I swear if my first experience with baseball was either skip caray or the disatrous duo that is Joe buck and tim mccarver I probably would never watch baseball again either.

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    • MrHill says:

      While I have heard complaints about the announcing, and these veiled threats about ‘never watching again’ it sure seems like no one ever follows through with them. — Why would you would stop watching baseball, as opposed to turning the sound off? I’ve never understood this, Joe seem like a pretty simple fellow with a simple view point, please explain why you wouldn’t just watch in silence. I’ve never tried it, so it might be much harder than it sounds…

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    • Nitram Odarp says:

      Wait do you mean Skip or Chip Caray? I’ve always found Skip to be pretty good, but Chip is just awful and only has the job because of his father and grandfather.

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  16. CircleChange11 says:

    The problem for me is that the games start too early. There are times following a post-season game where I am in bed before 1 AM. I want to be up until 2 Am watching baseball in late october and early November, y’know “baseball season”.

    Now, with all these exciting teams in the playoffs, it’s can’t miss for me. I’ll be up till 2 Am watching the end of the Reds-Padres game 4.

    I won’t watch many of the games, and I doubt I’ll feel like I’m missing something.

    The 2005 World Series featured every game being decided by the 7th inning or less. No one watched or cared. This won’t be the first year that the WS will feature a matchup that not many care about.

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  17. Phantom Stranger says:

    I think there are serious long-term ramifications to the health of baseball because of ESPN’s incessant desire to broadcast Yankees and Red Sox to the detriment of almost every other team. It is creating a feedback loop that is self-perpetuating where those teams are gaining fans at the possible expense of the other teams. It is hard to be a fan of any team out of their own local market if you never see them on television.

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  18. Kazinski says:

    I’m rooting for a Giants-Rangers World Series. Not only would it be two teams that haven’t been there for a while, they are the 5th and 6th biggest media markets in the country, so there would be some ratings gas there.

    In terms of entertainment, the Rays-Phillies world series in 2008 is the most entertaining since Angels-Giants in 2002 when JT Snow rescued Darren Baker at the plate.
    http://mlb.mlb.com/images/2002/10/25/vI3bMTqu.jpg

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  19. jeff says:

    Who cares? Competitive games and quality of play should be what matters. You can’t have the same teams in every year just because they draw ratings due to their market size. I read the same things every year about baseball. That it is somehow falling from the “consciousness” of the american public. That couldn’t be more untrue. The game has never been more popular. The World Series will do fine no matter who is in it. Maybe the ratings will be slightly down, but the game is doing as well as it ever has.

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  20. jeff says:

    Furthermore, it is good for baseball to have different teams in the playoffs and potentially the World Series. People are always complaing about competitive balance. Would it be good for the game to have a Yankees-Dodgers World Series every year just because it drew ratings? No, it would be bad for the overall health of the sport. It is good to have different teams in from different market sizes. It is good for the long term health of the game and good for those cities. I think the best thing for baseball this year would be a Rangers-Reds or Twins-Giants World Series instead of having the same teams in every year and showing that competitive balance has never been stronger.

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    • Will says:

      I am not necessarily disputing your claim, but the Golden Age of baseball is always considered to be the 1950s when, sure enough, the Yankees and Dodgers played quite frequently in the World Series.

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      • jeff says:

        It’s a different world. There are more teams and more options for viewers. It would not be a good thing for baseball for that to happen at this point. Competitive balance is very important for the overall health of the game.

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  21. Will says:

    I am not sure why we keep getting wrapped up in World Series ratings. Baseball is a regional game. I think we all know diehard fans of the sport who wont watch the post season when there team is not in it, not the least of which is because it’s emotionally diffficult to reinvest in other teams after a grueling 162 game season (this aint the NFL where a fan need only dedicate 16 Sunday afternoons to his team).

    Because of the proliferation of baseball on TV, and the rapid expansion of alternate programming options, it makes perfect sense why baseball’s post season ratings should ebb. More than ever, baseball has become a regular season sport, which is really a godo thing (unlike the NBA and NHL, which have become the opposite). Therefore, judging success by post season ratings just doesn’t make much sense anymore.

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  22. Brian says:

    How about Twins-Braves? A rematch of probably the best World Series ever, and perfect symmetry, coming in Bobby Cox’ first and last full seasons as Braves’ manager. You get the budding superstar in Heyward and the Peyton Manning of baseball in Joe Mauer. It certainly wouldn’t hurt if such a series came on the heels of 7 gamers between the Twins-Yanks and Braves-Phillies. The lack of long series in recent years has hurt both drama in general, but also created more off days and down time when other things can take center stage. Going back to a more compact playoff schedule is a good thing.

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    • Nick says:

      Joe Mauer is neither the best player in baseball nor the most marketable one.

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    • Rip says:

      Outside of the 20K fans of Braves baseball that apparently live on the correct side of Atlanta and therefore can make it to a ball game, no one else cares if it is Bobby Cox’s last game, or last season. Managers are not really that big a draw to watching a baseball game. Atlanta is a big city — but it is a football city, both college and pro’s, before a baseball football.

      I’ve thought that the Braves only had a following because they Turner did a great job marketing them in the past to a national audience, but now that they are not owned by Turner, and their payroll is no longer in the top 5 in baseball, as it was during his control of the team, they just don’t have the same fan support.

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      • Nitram Odarp says:

        Ummm, no one that attends Braves games lives on the south side of Atlanta. Its a terrible part of town. For whatever reason, that’s where they decided to build the stadium when the vast majority of people with money to attend games consistently lives on the north side. When you have a terrible mass transit system and people are forced to drive for an hour to get to a stadium that’s ~10 miles away, it really hurts your drawing power.

        And once again, the Braves have a gigantic regional audience and those fans love Bobby Cox (to a greater extent than the probably should, but I digress). They will certainly tune in to see Bobby lead his boys out there one last time. You realize the Braves routinely rate in the top 3 most popular franchises in baseball right? It took the Red Sox until 2009 to pass the Braves for #2 in the Harris Interactive poll: http://www.marketingcharts.com/direct/yankees-sox-favorite-baseball-teams-13492/harris-baseball-favorite-team-july-2010jpg/

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      • Rip says:

        Those are fair points, but I still can’t reconcile “3rd most popular team…Harris poll” with average attendance around 30K, when in 1997-2000 it was close to 40+K a game. Those 10K people (times 82 games) must have all moved to the better side of the city at the same time.

        Was fulton county easier to get to? They had a couple years with close to 50K a game.

        I’ve driven through, in, around Atlanta. I agree it is bad, but I’ve also driven in Boston (before the big dig), Washington (Horrible!) and LA (Horrible). LA doesn’t really have public transportation, but they seem to draw way better than Atlanta too. But maybe, as you’ve stated again and again, they built their staduim on the ‘right’ side of town.

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      • Nitram Odarp says:

        The Atlanta urban sprawl has moved further and further north of city. That’s played a big role in it. Traffic has also gotten consistently worse and Atlanta has one of the faster growing metro areas in America. There’s really a lot that’s gone into it though. Fans were spoiled by the consistent success of the team, they’ve become frustrated with the stagnant payroll, they miss Ted, etc. They also never drew 50K a game. At their best they were a 40K-45K team that managed one season over 45K. Once they started losing early in the playoffs every year, attendance started to falloff. They started having franchise players leave. They weren’t really developing new star players. I think things are poised to pickup once Heyward and some of their other young prospects establish themselves.

        And if you can’t reconcile 3rd most popular team with attendance then you’re not paying attention. A very large portion of the Braves fan base lives hours outside of the city. Those folks can only go to games if they plan a weekend trip to the city. They do however tune in on TV, giving the Braves very good ratings. That’s why the consistently get televised on Fox and ESPN. That’s what people are talking about when they say the Braves in the NLCS or WS would lead to good ratings. That’s why they rank so high on a list of most popular baseball teams. Just because fans can’t attend games because they don’t live in the area, doesn’t mean they suddenly stopped being fans.

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      • Rip says:

        Prado, in 1993 they had 47.9K per game (which I think is = Close to 50K), in 1994 they had over 46K (which is over 45K, so you’re wrong there too ever so slightly). The Braves aren’t the third most popular team in baseball, that poll is wrong. You even admit that fans were frustated, stagnant, missed Ted, etc. It just doesn’t add up.

        Maybe Maury can find some Nielson figures for number of households that watch the Braves, but I can’t see it being more than the Yanks, Mets, Phils, Cubs, Red Sox.

        And this whole too hard to drive there, urban sprawl, etc is lame. Every city has traffic, total weak sauce excuse, if more people live there how come fewer go to games? You reminded me of a Yogi Berra quote, ‘its so crowded no one goes there anymore’

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      • Nitram Odarp says:

        Because people are moving 20, 30, or even more miles outside the city. The metro Atlanta sprawl is much larger than most cities outside LA. The second largest county, Gwinnett, is over 30 miles from downtown. Many of the other newer, larger developments are a similar distance. These people are about an hour away from the stadium without traffic. Throw in traffic and time to get out of the parking lot and you’re looking at 3-4 hours round trip to see a 3 hour game. That doesn’t necessarily make sense during the work/school week.

        And I’m not sure what’s so hard to understand about the popularity of the Braves. They developed a huge fan base while they were on TBS. Most of the SE cheers for the team, on top of the 11th largest Metropolitan population, 10th largest CSA, and 9th largest MSA. There’s more to being a fan than tuning in on TV.

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      • Rip says:

        I give up. I just can’t fathom how a city can grow that big that fast, yet have such a hard time drawing fans to baseball games…when they used to be able too…I’m too stubborn to believe that having at one point 47K/game go to a game, and now only 30K/game means nothing. The Braves neither have the most fans going to the games, nor the biggest markets, nor the most households watching them, but they are the 3rd most popular franchise. Fine. I hope they make the WS so everyone can kneel down and watch/listen to the fantastic storyline about Bobby Cox last year.

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      • Alex says:

        Harris Interactive surveyed 2,227 adults baseball fans online between June 14 and June 21.

        Yep, you knuckleheads are arguing over some poll that quizzed less than 3,000 people online during a single week.

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      • Nitram Odarp says:

        Because we all know that you can’t get an accurate poll without 10′s of thousands of people right? Clearly its just random that the Braves have been top 3 every year they’ve done the poll.

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  23. Jeff says:

    I wish we could all stop looking for “storylines” or teams with history being in the playoffs and just enjoy some good baseball.

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  24. Josh W says:

    The number one thing baseball can do to improve ratings, playoffs or otherwise, is work on shortening the games to the point where we can expect a 3-hour game most of the time. It’s really difficult to live on the east coast, hold a full-time job, and watch much of the playoffs when the games start late-ish and I have no idea if I’m in for a 4.5 hour slugfest so can’t bother to get invested and be up late.

    The number two thing to do, agreeing with the above, is push out good games, not brand teams. Tired of a steady diet of Yankees-Red Sox, Mets-Braves, Mets-Cardinals, Cardinals-Braves, etc.

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  25. bill says:

    I love baseball and all, but I can sure as hell tell you if it’s a Padres-Twins World Series I sure as hell wouldn’t be paying as much attention as Phillies-Yankees.

    Also why would the best baseball be in the ALDS and ALCS? Maybe you missed it, but Philly is going to be starting the best rotation in the postseason. Match them up against the Twins, Yankees, or Rays and that’s got to be the best series.

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  26. Sox2727 says:

    As someone who lives just outside of Chicago, I for one am so sick and tired of the Yankees-Red Sox garbage being crammed down our throats by ESPN and FOX. I used to love watching those games until 2004 when they had a Sportscenter special for their first game of…SPRING TRAINING. I would be interested to see a ratings breakdown by geographical regions, because I suspect there are millions of people like me living outside of the Boston/New York areas that are sick of these games being the Sunday game of the week every time they play.

    I for one would love to see a Rays – Rockies World Series. I think it is good for baseball to see some new blood. I know people are going to say that both teams have had recent World Series appearances, but I think that would represent to fans of other teams across the country that if your organization does things the right way you can reach the top of the mountain. We know FOX will hate it if the Yankees don’t make the World Series, my answer…deal with it. It will be good for baseball long-term to see some teams who have built their organizations the right way being rewarded. Anything that prevents the Joe Buck – Yankees love fest is great in my world.

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  27. Bleachers says:

    Agreed with whoever said that baseball is more of a regular season sport (as opposed to NBA and NHL, which are geared toward a long postseason). That said, I believe the most exciting storylines and high intensity games – regular or postseason – are going to take place over the next two weeks in the NL West. Three teams within 1.5 games of each other. That’s what baseball is all about, not ESPN or FOX trying to create a storyline out of nothing in the postseason.

    I’ll take my local broadcasters in a pennant race over Joe Buck and Tim McCarver and all of the cheesy garbage that comes along with a FOX broadcast in the playoffs any day. Perhaps I’m a little off topic here, but my point is that the regular season is really the bread and butter of MLB.

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  28. frug says:

    One important thing that hasn’t been addressed is that the World Series will have to face off against a Sunday Night Football game this year and it has the potential to be a doosy: Viking at Packers. A division game and Brett Favre’s re-return to Lambeau Field. If the Vikings and Packers are both still in contention I suspect it will crush any non-Yankees WS game.

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  29. jeff says:

    A lot of people will still care about the World Series no matter who is in it. There are still a lot of baseball fans who care about more than just their team.

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  30. Max says:

    I want a WS Game 7! The last one was in 2002.

    I like the fact that there are several teams that have not made the postseason in a while. I want to see good baseball, and I think this set of teams should be good. I’m kind of tired of the Phillies, but I would love to watch any of the other teams in the world series. Turner field games would be amazing; their NL West title streak ended long enough ago. I’m a Mariners fan, but the Rangers, Rockies, Rays, and Reds all have very exciting young teams, so I hope I get to see some of them past the division series. I want to see some classic pitching duels involving Lee, Jimenez, Hanson, Lincecum, Cain, Latos, Liriano, et cetera.

    But my first and foremost MLB Postseason wish is a World Series game 7. This is the straight year without the Mariners, but the MLB Playoffs never fail to excite me.

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  31. Alex says:

    I think the best thing for Baseball would not be a small market-team vs. a small market-team World Series. I think it would be better and more interesting if the matchup will be between a big market-historically winning-team (f.e.: the Yankees) against a small market-team. Hopefully in a 7-game-World Series and, in a perfect world, with a small market-team winning…

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  32. bstar says:

    I don’t watch a whole lot of American League baseball, but when I do (and, yes, over half the time it seems to be a Yanks-Sox game), the difference in the pace of the game compared to National League baseball is striking to me. There’s got to be a way for baseball to work on this issue. Roger Goodell has done an amazing job of making sure every single NFL game is very close to over after 3 hours…..why cannot baseball at least try to address the issue of the longevity of the games?

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  33. CedarA says:

    Well 4 of the 6 highest market teams made the ALCS/NLCS, seems like the ratings should pick up.

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  34. Peter says:

    Such superb post! I have no clue how you wrote this post..it’d take me long hours. Well worth it though, I’d assume. Have you considered selling ads on your blog?

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  35. Dave says:

    What superb write-up! I have no clue how you came up with this text..it’d take me days. Well worth it though, I’d suspect. Have you considered selling ads on your blog?

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  36. I have been showing people that for a long time

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