Photo Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Three of the four teams in Philadelphia right now are going through phases. Well, all four are, but the Eagles’ phase involves winning. The Sixers are undergoing a radical rebuild that will leave them at the bottom of the standings for a few more years. The Flyers are stagnant. The Phillies are terrible. And it shows, not only in-game attendance, but in TV viewership.
According to The Inquirer, TV ratings for all three franchises are on a steep decline. And when it comes to the Sixers, it’s really bad.
Phillies viewership has plummeted 65 percent from 2011, the last time the team reached the playoffs. Sixers viewership has nosedived 72 percent over the same period, according to Nielsen.
Even rabid Flyers fans have cooled, with per-game TV viewership down 36 percent.
The numbers – especially for the Sixers, with an average of only 23,000 adults watching their games on TV last season – are startlingly low for storied franchises in the nation’s fourth-largest TV market, observers say.
Basically, you can take the Phillies crowd at CBP, add everyone watching the Sixers on TV, and still not fill the place. It’s rough. The Phillies, for their part, are below where you want to be in viewership, but in 2011 were probably well above it:
The Phillies won 102 games in 2011, the most in franchise history, and were a heavy favorite to win the World Series.
An average of 350,000 adults watched Phillies games that year. The team lost to the St. Louis Cardinals in the first round of the playoffs and never recovered its competitive footing.
Last year, an average of 112,000 adults tuned in to the Phils on SportsNet. Through early June the viewership had improved slightly from last year to an average of 123,000 a game. The Phillies’ record on Monday, going into the break for the All-Star Game, was 29 wins and 62 losses.
And the Sixers? 23,000 per game is abysmal, but Scott O’Neil says they just have to rebound and all will be well. “You can go look at the [Allen] Iverson years or the [Charles] Barkley years,” he said. “The market comes back. We just have to do our job.” Considering the hype, their best bet to jump up those viewer numbers would’ve been a healthy Embiid, but Okafor will just have to do.