Yesterday, we reported how average attendance figures were broken down for the first-round of the 2006 and 2009 World Baseball Classic, and the findings showed that there is an overwhelming increase in interest worldwide.
Today, more attendance and television ratings info has been made available via World Baseball Classic, Inc.
- Round One attendance in 2009 surpassed the attendance from Round One of the 2006 World Baseball Classic by approximately 38%. More than 450,000 fans attended Round One games in 2009 compared with just over 326,000 fans for the inaugural World Baseball Classic.
- The Tokyo Dome recorded three sellouts in the first round, selling out each of the three Japan games on March 5th against China, March 7th against Korea and March 9th against Korea.
- Hiram Bithorn Stadium in San Juan, Puerto Rico drew a sellout crowd of 19,483 on March 9th for the game between Puerto Rico and the Netherlands, and duplicated the feat with 19,501 fans in attendance for a rematch between the teams in the Pool D championship game on March 11th.
- Saturday’s game between the United States and Canada drew 43,000 fans to the Rogers Centre. Only three games between the Blue Jays and Yankees, and three games between the Jays and Red Sox had a higher attendance at the venue over the last year.
- Toronto’s Rogers Centre set a single-day merchandise sales record for a non-World Series baseball event on March 7th, during the opening day of Pool C which featured the United States taking on Canada and Italy vs. Venezuela.
- The game between the United States and Canada on ESPN on Saturday, March 7th drew a 1.4 rating with 1,850,000 viewers tuning in. It was the third-most watched sports telecast on cable last week.
- Sunday night’s game between the United States and Venezuela posted a 2.0 rating with 2,645,000 viewers tuning in, ranking as the most watched World Baseball Classic game ever, eclipsing the 2006 second round game between Mexico and the U.S. which was seen by 2,458,000 people. In addition, it was the most watched sporting event on basic cable for the week.
- Saturday night’s game between Japan and Korea delivered a 37.8 rating in Japan, topping the 28.2 for the tournament opener on Thursday to rank as the highest-rated sports telecast in that country since the 2006 World Baseball Classic Final between Japan and Cuba (43.4), including the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
- Domestic television ratings for the 2009 World Baseball Classic Round One games broadcast on ESPN averaged a 1.3 rating, up over 40% from 2006. The four games averaged 1,745,000 viewers, up almost 90% compared to 2006 Round One games.
- Five of the 2009 World Baseball Classic Round One games were the highest-rated non-soccer events ever broadcast on ESPN Deportes, including the March 10th contest between Cuba and Australia which posted a 3.3 rating, the station’s highest-rated Round One game.
Source: World Baseball Classic, Inc.
Maury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is contributor to Baseball Prospectus, and is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.
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