Friday, June 27, 2008

Not All Biases Are Irrational

I have sympathy for those who complain about the dreaded East Coast Bias, but unfortunately, there are numbers which justify it:
The baseball folks at Fox hope their ratings for major league games heat up
along with the summer weather and division races. The network is drawing
2.0% of U.S. households to MLB telecasts, down from 2.5% at this time last year
. . .

. . . "The difference is being backloaded and frontloaded," said Mike
Mulvihill, Fox's vice president of programming and research. He means that
in 2007 there were more top matchups toward the beginning of the season while in
2008, it's the opposite.

"This year, we've had just one Red Sox-Yankees
game … last year by this time, we'd had three already. Overall last year we had
the Yankees on six times … this year, three times."

I know we all claim to be sick of the Yankees and Sox, but people like to watch them.

A question the article didn't ask is whether both last year's numbers and this year's numbers wouldn't be higher if Fox made even a token attempt to make their broadcasts palatable or, at the very least, unassaulting.


Jake said...

I just hate that I can't watch a game on MLBTV if FOX shows it as a "national" Saturday game. Of course I don't think that word means what they think it means...

Ken Dynamo said...

yes, two piece of shit teams. cant say i blame fox tho. last i checked they were still a business.

Anonymous said...


On the West Coast, we always see the Dodgers on Fox Saturday, which means after 2 innings it's nap time, becuase the broadcast team is the D list. Of course, their A list is also a mandatory mute.

Maybe if the showed the Angels or the beloved A's once in a while...

Anonymous said...

Does anybody think it's possible that one of the reasons the Yankees and Red Sox have more national fans is because they've been featured nationally for longer? We've been force-fed Yankees/Red Sox for almost a decade now, so it's no wonder casual fans (I hate that term) can only identify with them.

Just a thought.

tadthebad said...

The Red Sox, defending MLB champs who lead their division, are a POS team? Huh, who knew?

The Yankees, financial behemoth and cornerstone of MLB, are a POS team? Never would've guessed.

The rest of MLB: pure gold, baby.

Anonymous said...

I'm with Tad. Why would Fox force us to watch such under-achieving teams when we could partake the beauty of a Marlins-Padres battle royale? When oh when will I get McCarver's take on the juggernaut that is the Athletics? Why can't we sip from the effervescence of a Pittsburgh-Arizona explosion?

Josh said...

Those numbers are pretty darn small compared to, say, the typical Sunday NFL game. The ratings are higher when the Sox and Yankees play because more Sox and Yankees fans, respectively, tune in. I'd guess there's no similar bump when they show the Athletics. It's not about the national baseball audience, it's about the local fan bases.

tadthebad said...

Just to be clear, I'd like to see teams other than the Sox and Yanks on the Fox Saturday games. For one, I don't get much "live action" exposure to teams outside the AL East. Two, the Fox broadcasts generally suck, so I'd much rather watch the Sox on NESN. However, based on ratings, I understand why Fox wants to show those two teams as often as possible.