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Dear Fox,
How to Boost the Ratings for the World Series
Jonah hecht
| October 28, 2008
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If youíve been a good listener and have been listening to WVBR for the last hour, you know that nobody will watch the World Series tonight because Game 5 has once again been postponed. Zero people watching the World Series, however, is not much different from the past few nights, when a relatively small number of people watched. Game 3 had the lowest audience ever for a World Series game. The five and a half innings of last nightís Game 5 had the lowest rating for any Game 5 of the World Series ever. Itís not that baseball is becoming unpopular in America. Baseball is setting all kinds of attendance records and Game 7 of the ALCS was the highest rated cable game in the history of the sport. Part of the problem is that this series lacks a bad guy, or at least a team that can captivate a national audience, like the Yankees or the Red Sox. Rain also has something to do with the low ratings, but so does TV. Fox tries to squeeze in every game when it is scheduled to be played so as not to disrupt its television schedule. In doing so, however, it hurts its own ratings. World Series games should not be played on Saturday nights when people do not want to stay home and watch tv. If Fox has to play games on Saturday, they should play them in the late afternoon when people are home. If college football can get massive ratings in this time slot, so can the World Series. The two lowest rated World Series matchups both occurred on Saturday nights, and insisting on starting a Saturday night game around 10:00 on the East Cost is asking for disaster. TV ratings are also why baseball tries to play World Series games in downpours. The irony is that Foxís rigid schedule hurts the ratings. Playing games in horrendous conditions undermines the integrity of the game, making the Fall Classic seem less important than Fox should want it to seem. Last nightís game would have been postponed sooner if it were played in June. Why should the standard for playing conditions be lower for a World Series game? I have no problem with Fox wanting to get as rich as it can. But playing games at inopportune times and in inopportune conditions is not good for Fox, or the fans.
Originally Aired: Tuesday, October 28, 2008. This is a part of the 93-Second Sports Shot series. 93-Second Sports Shots air weekday evenings at 6pm.
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