Concern for baseball: Bad NFL game still does higher ratings than Game 5 in key male demo

Yes, Game 5 of the World Series did a higher overall rating than the football game Monday night. Baseball pulled an 8.9 rating with 14.4 million viewers on Fox, while Seattle-St. Louis did a 6.7 rating with 10.8 million viewers.

But here’s the rest of story, and how it should concern Major League Baseball.

In men 18-49, the key demographic for advertisers, football ruled with a 6.1 rating compared to 5.2 for baseball.

Traditionally, football does skew to younger viewers. However, the Monday night game was so bad, at least from an offensive standpoint, Jon Gruden was begging for mercy. Also, it was MNF’s lowest-rated game of the year.

Yet among young, and not so young, males, it still beat a pivotal and compelling Game 5 of the World Series. Imagine the numbers if MNF had a Denver and Peyton Manning vs. anybody match-up.

Obviously, this is an indicator that baseball attracts an older audience. The 50-and-over crowd gave the World Series the overall victory in the ratings.

But what happens when that sector fades off into the sunset? It definitely suggests that the erosion in World Series ratings only will get worse in the future.


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2 thoughts on “Concern for baseball: Bad NFL game still does higher ratings than Game 5 in key male demo

  1. Unless we own stock in the pertinent entities, what do ratings mean to baseball fans? Games will be available on some platform, many more accessible and comfortable for younger fans. The NFL is king. Ratings in all sports have gone down, a result of more choices. MLB will outlive both of us. Will the NFL ?

  2. You’re a media columnist, Ed, so you’re supposed to cover this topic. I get it.

    But do us – the sports fans — a favor and please explain why comparing apples to oranges matters so damn much. Most sports fans love both for what they each offer and don’t obsess about what the guy next door is doing.


    What happens to baseball when the 50-and-over demographic dies? Who knows, Ed!!! But start taking some educated guesses, please, instead of pecking away at the keyboard like Chicken Little.

    Youth football participation has been on the decline for the past 40 years – and that’s BEFORE the scientists told us that playing it pretty much gives you automatic brain damage.

    Baseball is on the TV and radio every day for eight months and has been a staple sport in this country since the Civil War. No matter what the hyperventilating bloggers say, it is STILL as American as hot dogs, apple pie, and Chevrolet. It’ll always be very popular in this country – and elsewhere.

    Meanwhile, soccer is the biggest youth participation sport in the United States, according to FIFA, with more than 24 million players. No other country in the world comes remotely close.

    If you really want an educated guess about what the sports landscape will look like in 25 to 50 years, chew on some of those trends, please. The daily TV numbers mean NOTHING to most of us. And by the time they start shifting dramatically, those of us reading present-day media bloggers will be too old or too dead to care.

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