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section314

When the season resumes........

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Why not just play all day games? Much safer to have all concerned out in the sun.

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I had actually given that some thought.

BUT, this is probably the premise that MLB is going under-- There will still be people working that presumably will not be able to watch the games. That means ratings are lower. Ratings help drive future ad revenue.

But I think your point has good merit, and I would be surprised not to see more of a mix of day games than normal.

 

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23 minutes ago, section314 said:

Why not just play all day games? Much safer to have all concerned out in the sun.

That is a really good point but as Scott mentions TV revenue is probably going to drive it.

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Also I'm not sure what the data says about daytime versus nighttime spread and it's even significant. 

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58 minutes ago, Maxman said:

Also I'm not sure what the data says about daytime versus nighttime spread and it's even significant. 

TV ad revenue certainly goes up at night.  But the future of the game gets impacted since many/most kids can't watch night games that go until 11 PM.  A season with more day games would help in that effort to bring kids back into the fold. 

Old article, but still a good read from an economist:

 

https://www.forbes.com/sites/jeffreydorfman/2013/10/29/major-league-baseball-is-destroying-its-future-by-chasing-television-dollars-now/#88b1eb478676  

 

ct 29, 2013,08:00am EDT

Major League Baseball Is Destroying Its Future By Chasing Television Dollars Now

Jeffrey Dorfman
Jeffrey DorfmanFormer Contributor
I use economic insight to analyze issues and critique policy.
 

As I write this column, we are in the midst of the 2013 World Series. It is possible that the total number of television viewers for the World Series, even if it goes seven games, will be less than the number of people who watch the Super Bowl. How does football get more viewers in one night than baseball gets in seven? The answer has much to do with when the games are played.

Television is willing to pay more money for sports games played in prime time than games played during the day. Any sport can increase its television rights revenue by playing more games at night. While this may seem like a harmless change—move game time a few hours and players and owners earn more money—it has consequences in the long run.

When games are played and televised at night, television revenue goes up but the number of children watching goes down. On the East Coast, World Series games start after 8 o’clock and do not end until after 11 o’clock. That is too late for some adults and way too late for most kids.

And while that television money looks attractive, baseball executives seem to have forgotten a funny thing about kids: they grow up to be adults. If children grow up with no tradition of watching baseball, they are much less likely to pick it up as adults. Most strong sports team loyalties are born when fans are young. Adults rarely create as strong a bond with a team as do children. That team loyalty can last a lifetime and means years and years of viewership and game attendance. That money comes slower than the television dollars, but over time it adds up.

Historically, baseball was played during the day. People listened to baseball on the radio at work or after school on weekdays. Even playoff and World Series games were played during the day. The Chicago Cubs’ home, Wrigley Field, famously did not have lights at all until 1988, so all their home games were played during the day until then. Even after the lights were installed, the Cubs favored day games at home.

Over time, day games in baseball have declined. This year’s regular season had 34 percent of its games played during the day and 66 percent at night. There has been a ten percent change in favor of night games over the past ten years. Has this long term trend toward night games shown up in a decline in television viewers? Yes it has.

Look at World Series viewership over the last thirty years. From 1984-1993, the World Series averaged 31.4 million viewers per game; from 1994-2003, the average was 22.8 million viewers; from 2004-2013, the average viewership declined to 16.6 million. In fact, the simple linear trend for World Series viewership over this thirty year period is a loss of 775,000 viewers per year. At this rate, nobody will be watching the World Series by 2030.

Before readers start saying anything like “television viewership is going down for all networks and all shows,” that’s not quite true. There is a shining example of growing television ratings: the Super Bowl. While World Series viewership has been in a long-lasting, steady decline, the Super Bowl has been steadily growing its viewers since its first year. In fact Super Bowl viewership has been growing about one percent per year for the same thirty year period over which I documented the decline in World Series watching. That means the Super Bowl is gaining around one million viewers per year, even more than the World Series is losing.

The Super Bowl has been watched by over 100 million people for each of the past four years. With the figures so far for this year’s World Series, the Super Bowl will have more viewers than all this year’s World Series games put together unless it goes to seven games and viewership for the last few games rises considerably. Can night games explain this difference in trends?

The Super Bowl is played at night, but it starts and ends earlier than World Series games do, roughly running from 6:30-10:00pm. Children can watch at least the first half and the halftime show of the Super Bowl, and many of them can watch the entire game. That helps build future viewers.

In addition, most NFL regular season games are played during the day, on Sunday afternoons when everybody, including children, can watch. Only two or three games per week are played at night: one on Sunday night, one on Monday, and sometimes one on Thursday. That means over 80 percent of NFL games are played during the day, more than double the share of baseball games played during the day. Even during the playoffs, the NFL plays many day games.

The last World Series day game was in 1987 and there was only one day game in that year’s Series. The result is that about half of the U.S. population was either not born yet or too young to be watching the last time there was a daytime World Series game. While moving the World Series to nighttime in order to get more television revenue may have seemed smart at the time, it is steadily leading to a smaller and smaller fan base.

Television will pay more for night events than daytime ones. Right now, television is willing to pay sports teams more money even if viewership is down because live sports is one of the few things guaranteed to attract live viewers as opposed to people watching on DVRs. That means that sports viewers have to watch the commercials, which makes sports broadcasts valuable. That economic fact has led television networks to pay rapidly escalating rights fee for almost all sports in the past few years.

However, those economics may not last forever and certainly cannot outlast the viewers. If the trend of World Series viewership continues to be downward, the dollars will have to disappear. Television will not pay to televise an event that nobody is watching. If baseball thought longer-term, they would play a few World Series games during the day. Such a move might cost them a little money now, but they would recoup those dollars later when their higher viewership numbers would lead to larger television contracts in the future.

 
 
I am a professor of economics at The University of Georgia and consultant on economic issues to a variety of corporations and local governments. Taking a generally free market, libertarian perspective, I use economics as the lens to analyze government policies from the local to the international level. I have a particular focus on government policies that strive to redistribute income or wealth either openly or in indirect ways. A lot of those thoughts are collected in my e-book, Ending the Era of the Free Lunch.
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On 7/1/2020 at 12:02 PM, Jetsfan80 said:

The last World Series day game was in 1987 and there was only one day game in that year’s Series

That game was played indoors too btw (in the Minnesota Metrodome).  It was game 6 of that series.  

The last day World Series game played outdoors was game 5 of the 1984 World Series.  (Padres at Tigers game 5 on October 14, 1984).

 

 

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Looks like the BlueJays are going to be lent out to the USA this year.  The Canadian government has said no to the Blue Jays playing in Canada this year.

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11 hours ago, Beerfish said:

Looks like the BlueJays are going to be lent out to the USA this year.  The Canadian government has said no to the Blue Jays playing in Canada this year.

What about hockey then? Isn’t one of the bubble cities Toronto? Edmonton also chosen. Tells you how popular baseball is in Canada 

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2 hours ago, 32EBoozer said:

What about hockey then? Isn’t one of the bubble cities Toronto? Edmonton also chosen. Tells you how popular baseball is in Canada 

It actually makes sense. Canada is worried that the Blue Jays and their opponents would be having numerous cross border travel from high risk areas.....Florida, Georgia, Texas, California. This could impact the health of Canadian citizens. Hockey is different. Once the teams get to the two respective cities, they stay put.

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3 hours ago, 32EBoozer said:

What about hockey then? Isn’t one of the bubble cities Toronto? Edmonton also chosen. Tells you how popular baseball is in Canada 

Different dynamic.  If mlb had two bubble cities and followed rules then it might be okay.

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So, a player tested positive right before the game, the game starts with no fans, then the game gets postponed by a rain delay, now the Nats have to wait and see who else Luis Soto infected in the clubhouse. Predictably absurd.

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7 minutes ago, BROOKLYN JET said:

Stanton CPOY

CPOY????

Does that mean he tested positive?

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4 minutes ago, Trolly McTrollface said:

CPOY????

Does that mean he tested positive?

Comeback Player of The Year

AKA: The Chad Pennington

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1 hour ago, T0mShane said:

So, a player tested positive right before the game, the game starts with no fans, then the game gets postponed by a rain delay, now the Nats have to wait and see who else Luis Soto infected in the clubhouse. Predictably absurd.

This rain delay positive test report is brought to you by Town Fair Thermometers. Nobody and I mean nobody beats Town Fair...

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8 minutes ago, BROOKLYN JET said:

Comeback Player of The Year

AKA: The Chad Pennington

Ahhh... I should've known that, LOL.

As for Stanton 35 games would be quite an achievement for him. He makes Pennington look like an iron man.

His contract would be killing any team other than the Yanks and Dodgers.

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On 7/23/2020 at 10:08 PM, Trolly McTrollface said:

CPOY????

Does that mean he tested positive?

"Covid Positve Of the Year"

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On 7/23/2020 at 10:25 PM, Trolly McTrollface said:

Ahhh... I should've known that, LOL.

As for Stanton 35 games would be quite an achievement for him. He makes Pennington look like an iron man.

His contract would be killing any team other than the Yanks and Dodgers.

And the Mets, if Steve Cohen ends up with the team.

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On 7/1/2020 at 10:40 AM, section314 said:

Why not just play all day games? Much safer to have all concerned out in the sun.

What?

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