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Baseball fans still watching

6/12/2009

Well, the local ratings are in:

    While attendance figures have dipped slightly this season against a backdrop of a national recession, television ratings for Major League Baseball are holding steady, the Associated Press reported Thursday.
    The average rating for all teams through May 24 was a 3.2, no different from the same period last season, according to The Nielsen Company.

    And the average audience actually increased from 76,000 to 77,000 households, said Nielson, whose ratings represent the percentage of all homes with televisions in a market watching a broadcast.

    "I think we would be concerned if they saw a drop in both attendance and in TV viewership suggesting there was some disconnect or some lack of affinity," MLB chief operating officer Bob DuPuy told the AP.

I suppose this is good news for Major League Baseball. I actually thought the ratings might tick up a few points -- well, tenths of points -- this season, with people foregoing games and movies and whatnot to save money, and watching baseball on TV instead. That doesn't seem to be happening. But steady ratings suggest, if nothing else, that fans care hardly at all about Alex Rodriguez's and Manny Ramirez's adventures in the magical world of pharmaceuticals. The ratings also suggest that when the economy picks up, so will attendance.
Not that any of this should surprise us.