Baseball viewership has been a topic of debate in recent years. With the rise of other sports and the changing demographics of the population, the question of whether or not baseball viewership is down has been a hot topic. In this article, we will take a look at the data to determine if baseball viewership is down this year, and what factors may be contributing to the decline.
Baseball Viewership Over Time
Over the last decade, baseball viewership has been on a steady decline. According to the Nielsen Ratings, the average number of viewers for a Major League Baseball game has dropped from the mid-fours in 2010 to the mid-threes in 2020. This is a significant decrease, as it means that fewer people are tuning in to watch baseball on a regular basis.
The decline in viewership has been particularly pronounced in the younger demographic. According to the Sports & Leisure Research Group, the number of viewers aged 18-34 has dropped from 12% in 2009 to 5% in 2019. This is a significant decrease, as it suggests that younger viewers are increasingly tuning out of baseball.
Who is Watching Baseball?
Although baseball viewership is down overall, there are still some groups that are watching the game. According to the Nielsen Ratings, the majority of baseball viewers are aged 55 and older. This is unsurprising, as older viewers tend to be more loyal to sport than younger viewers.
In addition, the Nielsen Ratings found that men are more likely to watch baseball than women. This is also unsurprising, as men tend to be more interested in sports than women.
Reasons for the Decline in Viewership
There are a number of factors that may be contributing to the decline in baseball viewership. Let’s take a look at some of the potential reasons:
Competition from Other Sports
One potential reason for the decline in baseball viewership is that there is now more competition from other sports. With the rise of the NFL, NBA, and soccer, viewers have more options when it comes to sports entertainment. This could be causing viewers to tune out of baseball in favor of other sports.
Lack of Excitement
Another potential reason for the decline in baseball viewership is that the game has become less exciting. With the advent of analytics, teams are increasingly playing the game in a more methodical and less exciting manner. This could be causing viewers to lose interest in the game.
The changing demographics of the population may also be contributing to the decline in baseball viewership. As the population ages, there are fewer younger viewers tuning in to watch the game. This could be leading to a decrease in overall viewership.
Decline in Local Teams
The decline of local teams may also be contributing to the decline in baseball viewership. As teams move to different cities, local fans may be less likely to tune in to watch their favorite teams. This could be causing a decline in overall viewership.
Length of Games
The length of games may also be contributing to the decline in baseball viewership. Baseball games can take up to three hours to complete, which may be causing viewers to tune out before the game is over.
Solutions for Increasing Viewership
In order to combat the decline in baseball viewership, there are a number of solutions that teams and leagues can implement:
Promote the Game
One solution is for teams and leagues to promote the game more aggressively. This can be done through advertising, marketing campaigns, and events that highlight the excitement of the game.
Focus on Local Teams
Another solution is for teams and leagues to focus on promoting local teams. This will help to build a local fan base, and will increase the likelihood that viewers will tune in to watch their favorite teams.
Stream Games Online
Teams and leagues can also promote the game by streaming games online. This will make the game more accessible, and will make it easier for viewers to tune in to watch their favorite teams.
Speed Up the Game
Finally, teams and leagues can work to speed up the game. This can be done by instituting pitch clocks, limiting the number of pitching changes, and instituting other rules that will help to reduce the length of games.
In conclusion, baseball viewership is down this year. There are a number of factors that may be contributing to the decline, including competition from other sports, lack of excitement, changing demographics, decline in local teams, and length of games. Teams and leagues can combat the decline by promoting the game, focusing on local teams, streaming games online, and speeding up the game.
- Nielsen Ratings. (2020). Major League Baseball Audience. nielsen.com/us/en/insights/reports/2020/major-league-baseball-audience/
- Sports & Leisure Research Group. (2019). Major League Baseball Viewership Trends. slrgroup.com/sports-leisure-research-group-releases-major-league-baseball-viewership-trends-report/