Written by The Staff
Tuesday, 22 May 2007 09:51
National television ratings for Major League Baseball have been decidedly high early in the 2007 season, as reported by the Sports Business Journal.
While it is under two-months since the season has started, “ESPN is reporting a 24 percent overall increase in household viewership for its entire slate of MLB coverage, hitting an average of 1.35 million homes. The network is also touting a 31 percent spike and best April ever for its signature property, ‘Sunday Night Baseball.’”
At the same time, ratings for FOX’s nationally televised Saturday games are seeing an average up-tick of 11 percent, or 3.6 million viewers. That makes it the best six-week start in five years.
Reasons for the increase are reported to be a number of factors:
- FOX began covering games earlier this season
- Start times for games for FOX have been moved from a 1PM slot to 3:55 PM slot—a slot deemed to be more friendly for viewers.
- ESPN’s increases are due to moving to less games in better time slots (evening, as opposed afternoon games).
- The biggest reason – a helping of Red Sox and Yankee match-ups.
As further reported by Eric Fisher and John Ourand of the Sports Business Journal:
While baseball is often criticized for having an aging fan base, the biggest demographic jump among viewers has occurred among young males. Fox is up 14 percent among male teens and males ages 18-49, and 15 percent among men ages 18-34. ESPN ratings have increased 38 percent among the 18-34 male demo overall, and 48 percent for “Sunday Night Baseball.”