Baseball interest wanes in record numbers

I wouldn’t know a rating from a share. But I do know that they’re important tools for advertising rate leverage.

That’s a big deal among the big three: baseball, football and basketball. Networks like the four-letter giant sell their souls for the rights to broadcast games. They hold advertisers hostage, and that high cost is passed on to us. Gawd bless free enterprise.

And you aren’t buying it. We know this because of the most important numbers that emerged from the Giants’ sweep of the Tigers in the World Series: 7.6 and 12.

That was the average rating and share that the brief series produced for Fox, which owns the rights to this afterthought. What does that mean? Many of you tuned out, in record numbers.

No other World Series in the history of MLB television coverage has yielded such low interest and documented numbers. It’s a cruel yet accurate reflection of your interest in baseball during what should be its crowning moment.

How can that be? Start with a switch-over of viewing interest to high school, college and NFL football a couple of months ago. The sports have become incompatible.

What should be a dramatic ending of the baseball season is sacked by any second-level SEC football game. Empty baseball stadium sections during the playoffs are the norm. As technology improves and is embraced by other sports, baseball insists on not getting it right with limited use of instant replay. We wince when an umpire blows yet another call. We know it won’t be the last.

A shorter season and a World Series in August would be a good start in fixing what’s wrong. More day games, too. Whatever it was that hooked so many of you on baseball long ago isn’t working on today’s potential audience.

Fox and its network brethren will make certain we’ll pay for that.

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