I’ve repeated it over and over: it doesn’t matter that the NFL beats baseball in the ratings. They’re apples and oranges given that baseball’s television economics are all about regular season games broadcast locally, while the NFL is like a national television show. Comparing the two is like comparing the NBC nightly news with Channel 4’s local news. They’re just different things altogether, neither trying to really do what the other is doing.
Today over at TYU, @williamnyy23 writes a guest post explaining all of this in far more detail, with numbers attached. The nut graf, as they say:
Baseball’s strength is its 162 game schedule. Following a team throughout the season comes with an ebb and flow, much like life itself. There are very few short bursts that absolutely demand attention. Although some may think that’s a bad thing, it’s actually baseball’s greatest asset. The number one reason baseball has exploding revenues is because the sport finally learned to leverage the 162 game schedule. Baseball’s massive inventory of games is a boon in a time when media outlets are starving for content. From satellite radio to local RSNs to MLBAM’s on-line initiatives, baseball’s growth has been fueled by its ability to fill the airwaves and the internet. Just like the NFL, MLB needs to play to its strengths, and chasing network television network ratings is not one of them.
Read the whole thing. And then, the next time someone declares baseball dead because a playoff game gets beat by the Titans-Jags, you can tell them why they don’t know what in the hell they’re talking about.