Thursday, October 18, 2007

Rockies lose to Little Leaguers

How bad were the ratings for the NLCS? So bad they were the four lowest rated games in NLCS history. So bad they produced lower ratings than the most recent Little League World Series and Home Run Derby. I was a fan of TBS's coverage, although their HD reception was consistently among the worst I've seen. It seemed like Fox didn't make much of an effort to lead into the NLCS with their ALCS broadcasts, and ESPN (although not a postseason MLB partner) spent at least ten times as much time hyping the ALCS as the NLCS.

USA Today points to the small markets of the teams as the reason for the atrocious ratings. I've got my own theory: no one cares about the senior circuit. The reasons:
  • The AL is better. The American League dominates interleague play every year and have won 10 out of 15 World Series
  • The best AL teams are in the biggest markets. The two biggest payrolls, most popular teams, and most consistent postseason teams (Red Sox and Yankees) are in the AL
  • The best NL teams are in the smallest markets. The best NL teams in the last 20 years (Atlanta, Florida) are in small markets
  • The NL is west coast-centric. The NLs best player (Bonds) and biggest market (L.A.) start games past 10 EST
In the NFL, even in the salad days of the NFC and the NFC East in particular, John Elway, Dan Marino, and Bruce Smith were great players in the AFC and featured in nationally televised games that ended before midnight EST. In capitalizing on the Yankees/Red Sox rivalry, MLB has marginalized half their teams.

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