By McKenzie Whiteman
You don’t have to be an avid baseball or even sports fan to know about the highs and lows of the World Series. However, this year it seems as if there’s literally no interest in the battle between the San Francisco and Kansas City.
Low ratings prove that the 2014 World Series may be the worst ratings in World Series history since it’s been made a regular television feature. Some attribute this to the competition the Series faces with the always increasingly popular NFL games. Others seem to think the lack of big name teams (such as the New York Yankees or Boston Red Sox) limit the audience of the MLB. Some simply think that because the long baseball season is ending during the high point of the NFL and sometimes opening nights for the NBA, that the timing is becoming the cause of the ratings.
Whatever the reason may be, the World Series is gaining less viewers than some NFL match-ups receive in one night. FOX executives and MLB commissioners need to find some way to increase the popularity of the historical Series and preserve the loyal fans that it does have during the regular season.
Possibly the best solution is the Game 7 that ultimately did result from Kansas City’s 10-0 win. The Royals, who haven’t seen the World Series playoffs in 29 years, have earned the advantage of playing the deciding game on their home turf. This could be the answer FOX executives have dreamed for. A Game 7, on the underdog’s home turf, on a night that hosts no football…there couldn’t be a better setting.
This season’s series needs to be an example for the future. FOX needs to be prepared for future series where the two competitors don’t include big name teams. Marketing and public relations strategies need to be reexamined so that regular season baseball fans see the importance of watching the post season, even when their favorite team may have not clinched. In addition, MLB executives need to constantly be evaluating the fluctuating audience. Baseball’s beginning to take a backseat to the hype of the NFL’s increase in criminal interests and even NCAA rivalries.
Ratings have the potential to completely change with Game 7 tomorrow night. However, involved parties with the World Series, no matter how big or small, need to examine their strengths and weaknesses in the series’ previous games. Whether it be a marketing or promotion effort, alterations in broadcasting, or simply the way the Series is advertised, the World Series has to find some way to compete with conflicting pro-sport schedules. If adjustments are not made, ratings will continue to struggle even with the luxury of big name teams competing.