Major League Baseball is losing viewership. It’s as simple as that. It kills me to even type it. The sport that I care most deeply about is losing people every year. With a heavy heart, I am going to try to explain and give possible solutions.
The average length of a typical nine-inning game sits around three hours. Similarly, the normal NBA and NFL game also lies around three hours in duration. Why is it that MLB seems to be losing more spectators than any other major professional sport?
While the NBA and NFL have lost a small percentage of viewership throughout the past five or so years, the MLB is losing it at a more alarming rate. So, let’s get into why this could be happening.
Younger generations are used to getting everything quicker. Anyone with a smartphone can find out the latest information in about two blinks of an eye. This generation’s attention span is shorter than any other’s. The MLB is unable to keep the attention of viewers anymore. There are less casual fans due to how long the games are.
For the biggest game of the year, the World Series, the MLB has seen an alarming decline in viewers. With over 22 million in 2016, viewership was the highest it had been since the 2004 World Series (over 25 million). But in 2019, viewership had declined to under 14 million, the culmination of a steady decrease throughout recent years.
One thing that I would really like to see is something that I think other sports would benefit from, which is allowing viewers to listen to the in-game conversations of the players.
During the past summer, Tiger Woods, Peyton Manning and Phil Mickelson all competed in a charity golf match where they were wired with microphones so you could hear their thoughts before their shot. Adding that feature to baseball would allow listeners to experience more interaction during the game.
There are more obvious possible solutions to the MLB’s decreasing audience such as providing more offense while getting rid of the designated hitter and shortening the game as much as possible. But broadcasting the players’ conversations would provide a spark of interaction that could intrigue the audience enough to tune in.
By Nicholas Mundy