The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

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TBS-MLB deal may be bad for baseball

It was revealed that TBS will pay $350 million to televise a league championship series of next years MLB playoffs. It will be the first time that this series will be televised on a cable network and not over-the-air channels. This has happened to other sports. The NBA, for example, broadcasts a majority of playoff games on cable, and has done so with some success. However, this is not a good thing for Major League Baseball.

Baseball is seen as the “American sport” and for basically the last decade, it has been struggling. Ever since the 1994 strike, baseball has had a difficult time gaining the fan interest it once had.

Because of that, the league basically turned a blind eye to those using steroids because home runs were something that brought fans back. But once the fans found out that it was steroids that were causing the home run phenomenon, they again begin to lose interest. I, however, disagree with a lot of people when they say that steroids have caused the lack of interest in baseball. I believe it is the economics that baseball uses.

When baseball begins in the spring, we all know that it is usually the same teams that are going to be good. Basically, it is the teams that were good the previous year. Rarely is there any change. Unlike the NFL, where any team can have a chance to win some games and make it to the playoffs, baseball has just a few good teams. So if someone is not a fan of one of these good teams, they really have no interest in watching.

FOX’s ratings for playoff baseball have been slipping a lot in recent years. In fact, FOX is actually losing money by not showing its fall line up. The last time the playoffs got a decent rating for FOX was in the 2004 ALCS between the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox.

I would agree that it was an incredible thing to see the Red Sox come back from a 0-3 deficit to win the series, however, one of the main reasons that series got such high ratings was because of the two teams in it. Both the Yankees and the Red Sox have fans all over the country and will always tune in when these two teams play each other. But it is only when these two teams, or the Dodgers, play that baseball receives high ratings.

This is unlike the NFL, where it does not really matter who plays on any given Sunday, a majority of the nation will watch. The NFL does not need a team from a huge market to be playing in order for that game to receive ratings. It does not rely on four teams like baseball does.

Here are some examples. In Kansas City, every person who follows baseball knows that the Royals do not have a chance to make the playoffs even before the season begins. That is why the interest in the Royals is so low. However, the Chiefs always have a chance to make the playoffs, even halfway through the season, so the interest remains high all year long. This happens in many cities across the country. The baseball team has no shot to make the playoffs but the NFL team always does.

This is because baseball has no salary cap. The league basically lets the top market teams use the lower market teams as minor leagues. They let the good players play down there a couple years and then buy them when the time is right. That is all the Yankees do, they fill their roster with superstars. Now does it always translate into winning? No. But there will never be a time when the Yankees are not in the playoff hunt.

As long as baseball continues to go down this path where only a couple of teams matter every year, it will continue to see its ratings and its interest decline. It is clear that baseball is no longer America’s pastime, but if something does not change soon, baseball could just be America’s past.

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