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Will You Watch?

With Tampa Bay and Philadelpia in the World Series, Bloomberg news service wonders if the TV ratings will slump because of the teams' "limited appeal outside their home markets." Philadelphia is the No. 4 media market; Tampa Bay is No. 14.

"Advertisers always hope for the Yankees and the Dodgers," said John Herman, associate media director at ad agency Crispin, Porter & Bogusky in Miami. "The Tampa Bay Rays wouldn't be their first, second, third, fourth or even fifth choice to win the American League."
The last matchup of two small-market teams, St. Louis and Detroit in 2006, produced the lowest ratings ever for a World Series with an average 15.8 million viewers tuning in for each game.

"I'm not on a cell phone hanging off the ledge of a building," said Ed Goren, president of Fox Sports. "It's a little premature."

Of course not: Fox's ad time is already sold. Anyway, the question is: Will you watch?

By Tracee Hamilton  |  October 20, 2008; 12:28 PM ET
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True Baseball fans will watch.

Posted by: CajunD | October 20, 2008 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Heck, yeah, I will. As a matter of fact, had it been the Sox vs. Phillies, I was thinking of boycotting, so I was doubly happy when the Rays won.

Posted by: natsfan1a | October 20, 2008 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Philly a small market?
That's crazy talk. They've been in the top-5 to top-10 in population and media market size for decades. Oftentimes, 4th behind NY-LA-Chicago.

Posted by: News to Philly | October 20, 2008 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Of course, the "true baseball fans" (whatever that means) will watch. The "true" question was, will anybody else? Not without a reason besides "to see baseball," they won't. Why would they?
Something could come up, but as of now, I don't see anything.
Maybe a home run derby contest, Obama/Biden vs. McCain/Palin? OK, that looks a little one-sided. What if they used the scoreboard, and Wii?

Posted by: CE | October 20, 2008 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Given the home parks and the offenses I fear a Series of 15-14 games ... but yeah, I'll probably watch.

Posted by: Not Sure | October 20, 2008 1:10 PM | Report abuse

Exactly fourth, in fact. Of course, this is local market size, which is important, but doesn't measure national out-of-market interest, or lack thereof.
"Local Television Market Universe Estimates

Estimates as of January 1, 2009 and used throughout the 2008-2009 television season.
Estimates are effective September 27, 2008.

Rank-Market-TV Homes-% of US
1 New York 7,433,820 6.495
2 Los Angeles 5,654,260 4.940
3 Chicago 3,492,850 3.052
**4 Philadelphia 2,950,220 2.578**
5 Dallas-Ft. Worth 2,489,970 2.175
6 SF-Oakland-San Jose 2,476,450 2.164
!! 7 Boston 2,409,080 2.105
8 Atlanta 2,369,780 2.070
9 Washington, DC 2,321,610 2.028
10 Houston 2,106,210 1.840
11 Detroit 1,926,970 1.684
**13 Tampa-St. Pete (Sarasota) 1,822,160 1.592
21 St. Louis 1,249,820 1.092"


Philly a small market?
That's crazy talk. They've been in the top-5 to top-10 in population and media market size for decades. Oftentimes, 4th behind NY-LA-Chicago.

Posted by: News to Philly | October 20, 2008 1:00 PM

Posted by: CE | October 20, 2008 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Won't be watching - will be listening on XM. We don't have a TV that gets any reception - it only plays the output from a DVD player for the kids.

Let's Go Phillies!

Posted by: Philly Phan in Phairfax | October 20, 2008 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Very interesting, ce. Thanks for the data.

Philly Phan, don't know whether this might be of interest for you, but MLB TV has a $4.95 World Series package that you can watch on your computer:

Posted by: natsfan1a | October 20, 2008 2:53 PM | Report abuse

I want to watch.

Posted by: Chauncey Gardiner | October 20, 2008 3:30 PM | Report abuse

You mean "I like to watch."

Posted by: Chauncey's Ghost | October 20, 2008 7:18 PM | Report abuse

as the old montreal fan said, 'est-ce que le pape, est-il du catholique?' the rule is, if it's baseball, it's worth watching.

Posted by: natty bumppo | October 20, 2008 7:58 PM | Report abuse

Watch What?

There is only one thing on the planet worse than McCain and Obama, and its Philly and Tampa Bay!

Posted by: caphcky | October 20, 2008 10:31 PM | Report abuse

disclaimer: I work nights.


I haven't watched baseball since the '94 strike. I remember a lot of people saying they were done with baseball at that time.

If you were over 15 back then and don't remember saying something similar, time has obviously glossed over the past for you. I'm jealous. Really.

I guess I'm the only one who stuck to his word. That's not to be pompous. If you went back to the game and just forgot about it, hey, my loss, right? I used to love the game, from Memorial Stadium in Baltimore to the old-timers game at RFK to trips north to Philly to see my beloved Dodgers.

I just grew tired of the arrogance the owners and players must have to consistently try to ruin the game with greed, that's all. The steroid scandal has just served to reinforce a belief I already had.

Now, instead of spending hundreds of dollars at the ballpark, I go to cheaper events like lacrosse, soccer, and mixed martial arts. I have just as much fun watching athletes who make $100,000 instead of millions.

Never thought I'd say this, but you know what?

I don't even miss it anymore.

Posted by: spectre | October 21, 2008 4:53 AM | Report abuse

it must be troll season...

Posted by: if it's caphcky, | October 21, 2008 8:13 AM | Report abuse

And yet, here you are on a baseball blog, spectre.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 21, 2008 8:14 AM | Report abuse

I wasn't trolling. I didn't say anything nasty, mean, or inflamitory.

I still love the GAME of baseball (just not MLB), so yeah, I occasionally check out the baseball insider.

I don't get how my saying something you don't agree with would lead you to attack me. I didn't attack you.

Posted by: spectre | October 21, 2008 6:32 PM | Report abuse

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