No surprises here.
Sports television ratings are down across the board, with the NHL and NBA pulling record-low numbers for their respective championship series.
Major League Baseball is in the same boat, with the neutral site World Series bringing in poor ratings, via Joe Lucia at Awful Announcing:
“Tuesday’s series finale drew 12.627 million viewers on Fox, the least-watched Game 6 ever by 6% (Game 6 of 2014’s Giants-Royals series drew 13.372 million viewers). Overall, the series finished with an average viewership of just 9.734 million viewers, by far the least watched series ever. The previous record low came for 2012’s Giants-Tigers series, which drew 12.636 million viewers. This series marks a new record-low by 23%.
Furthermore, the overall series average clocks in at lower than what the previous low for a single game was (Game 3 of 2008’s Phillies-Rays series drew just 9.836 million viewers). That single game record-low was broken by each of the first four games of this year’s Fall Classic.”
Lucia points out that the MLB dip was not as significant as the NBA and NHL dip, so that would be a positive for baseball. NBA numbers were waaaaay down, while baseball did okay in comparison, especially considering they had a team in the Series that nobody cares about in the Rays. I can only name maybe three of their players.
This story uses Nielsen data, and it’s hard to get an accurate ratings picture with so many people cutting the cord and streaming these days. Nielsen sucks, and has always been a scam, but for numbers to be down this much across baseball/basketball/hockey shows that people just aren’t as dialed in to sports during COVID-19 as they would be otherwise. It’s hard to get excited for neutral-site games with no fans, especially when the Rays, Lightning, Heat, and Stars are participating.
It is what it is.