More People Are Watching The Tigers Than Are Currently Alive in Detroit

Maury Brown has a super-interesting post on Forbes that lists the local television ratings for each of the major league teams (except the Dodgers and Astros, which have cable-system-carrying issues). Unsurprisingly, if you look at raw viewer numbers, the Yankees are #1 with an average of 251,000 people watching each game. But given the size of the New York market, that places them merely in the middle of the pack when it comes to the average household rating. #2 in viewers and #1 in rating — to my surprise — is the Tigers, with 156,000 average viewers.

Some quick research tells me that there are only 7 people currently living in Detroit.

So that’s a lot.

Marlins, Angels, and White Sox fans may not want to bother checking out the link, although I’m guessing none of you are reading this either.




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Jeremy Blachman is the author of Anonymous Lawyer, a satirical novel that should make people who didn't go to law school feel good about their life choices. Read more at McSweeney's or elsewhere. He likes e-mail.


32 Responses to “More People Are Watching The Tigers Than Are Currently Alive in Detroit”

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  1. #keepnotgraphs...probably? says:

    Eh. Not such a fan of this one. See, there might only be 7 white people in Detroit, but contrary to belief, a city composed of 82% black people can actually be a real city too. With people and everything!

    (I’m not, of course, accusing you of intentionally offending, but I guarantee you that if Detroit was 80% white people, it would not be as ignored and ridiculed as much as it is. In fact, America probably would never have allowed it to be in the state it is today in the first place.)

    NotGraphs! For silly, fun baseball things!

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    • Jaydoubleu says:

      Anyone who’s been to Detroit lately knows there’s at least two dozen white people waiting in line at Slow’s. And they’re probably drinking a Two Hearted watching the Tigers game while waiting.

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    • Dr. Obvious says:

      I think the point was there are only 7 people with jobs in Detroit

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    • John Thacker says:

      Have you been to Appalachia? Heard any jokes about it or cousin marrying pill billies and the poorest counties in the country? It’s more than 80‰ white in that ghetto.

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      • james wilson says:

        Yes, we have heard the jokes. They’re not jokes.

        If you count the natives in a ratio of three fifths, the population of Detroit is 400,000.

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    • james wilson says:

      If Detroit was 80% white it wouldn’t have problems worth hearing about. Duh.

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  2. Sparty11 says:

    If there are only 7 people living in Detroit, how many people live in the 21 cities that are also home to MLB teams but have smaller populations (and just the city.. not metro-area…)?

    Should we be surprised that the highest viewed teams come from the cities with the largest populations? Or is the real surprise that you didn’t know that Detroit is home to more people than the city’s of 21 MLB teams?

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    • Eric F says:

      This appears to have gone way over your head.

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    • Yirmiyahu says:

      The highest-viewed teams don’t come from the cities with the largest populations. Pretty much the opposite.

      The bottom of the list: Chicago, LA, Miami, Chicago (again), NY, San Fran, Dallas, and Washington.

      The top of the list: Detroit, St. Louis, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Milwaukee, Baltimore, Kansas City

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      • Yirmiyahu says:

        Actually, maybe a better theory for the list is that people in the Midwest simply watch way more TV than those in the more interesting/larger/cosmopolitan/coastal cities.

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        • olethros says:

          Or more of us are baseball fans.

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        • Milwaukee resident says:

          As a Milwaukee resident I can say this, there is a festival or fair or any reason to go-outside-and-drink-beer-somewhere-you-would-normally-not-be-allowed-to-drink-beer every night of the week. And if there is anything we like more than watching the Brewers, it is drinking beers outside somewhere you are not normally allowed to drink beers.

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          • Chris says:

            As a SoCal resident I can say that there are lots and lots of things to do here that most people would prefer over watching baseball on TV.

            That’s how I’m justifying my Angels’ low ratings, at least.

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  3. Daneeka says:

    a wasted effort, but it’s hard to believe there was that much effort involved in the first place

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  4. Paul G. says:

    Amazingly, you put a regular FanGraphs article in NotGraphs. John Elway has not even made a horse reference.

    As to the seriousness this topic has taken, there are still lots and lots of people who live in the Detroit suburbs. Anyone who can get out of Detroit and its dysfunction has left for elsewhere. That might even explain the ratings: even people who live near Detroit do not want to go to Detroit!

    If Robocop is watching a game, does he count in the ratings? Is he like a human or does he qualify like a family pet when it comes to the calculations?

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  5. Graham says:

    I read this and the forbes article I’m a White Sox fan. Just letting you know that we do exist.

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  6. Matt C says:

    I’m sure west coast teams are hurt by the time of games. There are far more teams in the Central and Eastern time zones so western teams have to play alot of games at 4:00 local time.

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  7. Matt C says:

    Also RE: the Tigers having the highest ratings. I don’t think people that have never been to Metro Detroit or don’t know it that well realize how big the area is and how many people live in it. The burnt out buildings and war zone areas that the media shows is just a small percentage of the metropolitan area.

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  8. Josh B says:

    As a naturally paranoid person, I am a little nervous that you published a picture of the parking garage I park at every day.

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  9. brett says:

    This is fantastic. This isn’t about making fun of Detroit. It’s about celebrating how proud these people are of their city, and what a fantastic “baseball town” it is. At least I’ll look at it that way.

    Also, Rod Allen and Mario Impemba are great.

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  10. G says:

    Go Tigers!

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  11. me says:

    I hate to break it to you, but your research is way off. Three of those seven people are actually ferrel dogs.

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  12. Ramblin' Gamblin' Man says:

    I suspect the Twins’ numbers are skewed by Canadians plaintively eying the only glimpse of Freedom(TM) they will ever get… poor bastards. Normal Minnesotans are “Up North” at “The Lake” during “The Summer” and only get their Twins fix via radio courtesy of “The Dazzle Man”. Hell, even Bert doesn’t bother with the TV anymore…

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  13. miguel cabrera says:

    No white person with any good sense would live in inner city Detroit. Successful blacks who want to work and not suck off welfare are moving away from the D too. Simply put, its a concrete jungle full of young black kids with no jobs who have nothing better to do than: 1)do drugs, 2)listen to hip hop that promotes violence, 3) get 12 year old black girls pregnant, and 4)go out look for trouble. And the blacks blame whitey for this. Stupid lefty whites and race card blacks cry racist when Detroit is made light of for its crime. To those bleeding hearts, I challenge you to live there or any other hardcore urban sprawl like Chicago, Atlanta, or Baltimore for a year or so. I guarantee at best your car will get broken into a few times and you will be threatened. At worst you will get robbed, beaten, and maybe killed just for being white. Even though I make 300 million now I would not live anywhere near DET, even with a police escort.

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  14. Willy Nelson Cruz says:

    Detroit isn’t half as bad as people make it out to be. Nor is it half as good as its defenders would have you believe. It is however an easy target to make fun of. Much like the slow kid in school was. So ya, 7 people living in Detroit, hahaha (not). Way to bring the racists out though.

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  15. Steven says:

    I live in Detroit.

    I’m running low on ammo, though, so I don’t know for how much longer.

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