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The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

TV ratings for World Series tank

Major League Baseball is no longer gracing the television screens across America like it use to.

Baseball is widely known and referred to as “America’s pastime,” but NBC’s Sunday Night Football overshadowed Game 5 of the World Series according to overnight TV ratings. The football game featured the Green Bay Packers and New Orleans Saints, and baseball is the series between the American League champion Kansas City Royals against the National League San Francisco Giants.

The World Series is obviously the most crucial match-up in baseball since it is for the Commissioner’s Trophy, however, Game 5 only attracted 8.4 million overnight viewers compared to Sunday Night Football’s 11.4 million, tweeted NBC Sports PR department.

Austin Karp, editor for Sports Management Daily, said on his Twitter, it was a “season low for NBC’s ‘SNF’ and also the lowest overnight rating on record for a World Series Game 5.”

This implies that football’s ratings also struggled going up against Game 5. NBC still has the last laugh beating out baseball’s biggest stage with a Week 8 NFL game.

By Flickr user dannymac15_1999

In 1986, when Billy Buckner made the infamous blunder of letting the ball go between his legs, the television ratings for the Boston Red Sox versus the New York Mets averaged 28.6 million overnight viewers. Game 7 reached an all-time high of 38.9 million viewers according to records of television ratings. The average ratings so far in the 2014 World Series are only at 7.5 million viewers.

Does this mean the MLB should remove the “M” from their name?

The popularity of baseball might be on a downward slide, yet according to, MLB has the fifth highest attendance rating of any professional sport in the world with 30,504 people per game.

The success of baseball parks is prominent, yet, television ratings and the overall outcome of the season seems to be in the back of sports fans’ minds.

Many things contribute to the struggle of the 2014 World Series popularity, one being the return of the NFL season in the fall along with its rising popularity this century, and the other factor being the two teams featured in the MLB finale.

With baseball being one of the few leagues in America without salary cap restrictions, the popularity follows the teams that have the thicker wallet and purse. Some of the highest rated World Series broadcasts involved the Red Sox, New York Yankees, St. Louis Cardinals, and Los Angeles Dodgers, which shows that the big market teams are the ones that will attract the most viewers.

Last season’s NFL Superbowl, 112.2 million people tuned in to watch the Seattle Seahawks blowout the Denver Broncos according to The Seahawks, who had never won a Superbowl or are considered one of America’s more popular teams, owned the TV ratings that night.

Is the baseball season too long? Does having a series of games hurt television ratings?

The one hard but true fact is that MLB television ratings are decreasing every year, but that does not mean baseball fans are quitting on their sport.

It appears that if America’s most popular teams are not playing, people have no desire watching a World Series with teams they do not care about.


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Jeremy Hayes
Jeremy Hayes, Sports Editor

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TV ratings for World Series tank