Why are the tv ratings down for baseball?

Eric LarsonCorrespondent IJune 17, 2008

As the baseball season gets closer to the halfway point, I have noticed one trend. No one is watching the network telecasts of Major League Baseball. This year, the ratings are reaching record lows on the Fox Saturday game of the week. As a long time baseball fan, I used to read about low ratings, and I would think that sports fans are not watching on weekend afternoons in the summer. For a long time, I would believe this would justify the low ratings for baseball. However, when I see Nascarratings continue to be rise every weekend in the summer, I realize something else is wrong with Major League Baseball's network coverage. Nascar ratings are double what MLB ratings are on Fox. I believe it all comes down to marketing. Major League Baseball and it's network partners do a terrible job at marketing the game. Especially when it comes to the Fox game of the week. The Fox coverage is terrible as well. The announcers change weekly, and they do a terrible job at promoting the games. I do not understand. You never see commercials for the games on any prime time programming. A perfect example is American Idol. Fox has the #1 show in the country that is on during the beginning of the baseball season in April and May. If Fox and MLB had any brains, they would promote baseball throughout the show. They would have ballplayers come on the show, in January and February before spring training. They would do some baseball music video's intertwined in the coverage of American Idol each week during the first 2 months. They could promote the teams coming up on the week's coverage. I can't believe MLB and Fox does not take advantage of it. I believe the ratings would increase dramatically if Fox did some kind of cross promotion with AI and MLB. Another terrible job of marketing and television is done by TBS. They began a Sunday afternoon package with the MLB this season. The ratings are horrendous. However, again there is no marketing for the games. TBS televises a new sitcom every Thursday night called MY BOYS. It's a sitcom about a woman sportswriters and all her male friends. It's about sportswriters. But, during the first episode, there was not one ad for the Sunday afternoon baseball game. I could not believe it. The show is about a sportswriter for the Chicago Cubs. The network does not use the opportunity to promote there up coming Sunday Baseball game. People wonder why the ratings are so low for MLB. It's all about the lack of marketing by the network and MLB. That's why.