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October 30, 2005

2005 World Series Least Popular Series on TV

Sports & Economics The 1947 World Series, "which was sponsored by Ford Motors and Gillette, was televised for the very first time. The New York Yankees beat the Brooklyn Dodgers by the score of 5-3. Until this year the 2000 World Series (also known as the "Subway Series") between the New York Mets and New York Yankees had earned the distinction as the least popular World Series on television. As of now, the third worst World Series on television is the "all-California" 2002 World Series (San Francisco Giants vs California Angels). The Chicago White Sox / Houston Astros 2005 World Series is the new leader in the Worst World Series on Television category.

This season's World Series was not a ratings hit. Game One, a Saturday night show, had some 15 million viewers. Game Two on Sunday night scored better with 17.2 million viewers. (The first two games of the 2004 World Series had 23.2 million and 25.5 million respectively). On Sunday night, the television series, Desperate Housewives had 17.5 million viewers. The Monday Night Football show had 10.7 million. So the championship baseball games did better than regular season professional football game. In terms of "shares" which represent the percentge of TV sets in use tuned to a specific program, World Series Games One and Two had a 17.0 share, Monday Night Football had a 16.0 share, and Desperate Housewives had a 23.0 share. (The 2004 World Series gathered a 25 share; the 2002 World Series earned a 20 share.)

It appears Boston's Red Sox have more appeal than Chicago's White Sox, and the St. Louis Cardinals might be better loved than the Houston Astros. However, there were more average fans in Chicago watching the 2005 World Series on television this year than Boston fans watching the 2004 World Series last year (1.32 million Chicago households tuned in while last year 1.22 million Boston households were tuned in.) The National League also improved its home town ratings. Last year the St. Louis team averaged 540,000 households watching the baseball games. This year the number of Houston households tuned in to the 2005 World Series averaged 800,000.

Information about Nielsen Ratings The number one watched television show during the week the 2005 World Series began (October 17-23) was CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. CSI is a CBS product that 28.5 million viewers watched.

Geographical indifference has been suggested as the reason for this year's poor ratings just as the New York only 2000 World Series and the California only 2002 World Series produced substandard ratings. While the World Series isn't really a World-based contest (only teams in the USA and one team in Canada are eligible) the narrower the national scope the worse the results. Other analysts suggest that the lack of any mega superstars helped lower the television audience. While Roger Link to Desperate Housewives webpageClemens might reasonably be considered a baseball superstar, as a pitcher, he would appear only periodically. He was the starting pitcher for Game One but apparently his stardom is not bright enough to carry the ratings.

Are there other non-demographic or georgraphic issues worth exploring. Why do the Boston Red Sox, who broke their World Series curse in a four game series appeal to more telelvision viewers than the Chicago White Sox who also won in four games, and who until this year had not won a World Seires in 88 years (it took the Red Sox 86 years)? What makes the Boston-St. Louis geometry (2004 World Series) more compelling than the Chicago-Houston alignment (2005 World Series). (Houston, by the way, has never won a World Series.)

And why do more television watchers prefer Desperate Housewives over professional baseball played at the championship level? What do the homes on Wisteria Lane offer that that the fields of baseball lack?

October 9, 2005

CBA Celebrates 24th Anniversary

CBA Home The Cosmic Baseball Association was founded October 9, 1981 in Los Angeles, California. CBA's 24th anniversary coincided with the annual Fall meetings in Washington, D.C. and both events were intertwined and tumultuous. The anniversary celebration took place on the National Mall, soggy from two days of torrential rain in the city but nevertheless the party was crowded. The Fall meetings took place in the Federal Triangle, adjacent to the Mall. Despite the rain on Friday and Saturday the main celebration on Sunday was spectacular. Thanks to all who organized this year's celebratory events and thanks to the members and friends of the Cosmic Baseball Association for their upport during the last 24 years.


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Archived: October 31, 2005