Baseball Has Its Issues, But Declining TV Ratings Isn’t One of Them

The bad news: World Series viewership declined for the third year straight.

The good news: Viewership declined at a lower rate for the World Series compared to broadcast TV as a whole, and only the NFL pulls in more viewers.

Total broadcast viewership for primetime (YoY growth):
1) 
2017-18 – 26.7M
2) 
2018-19 – 24.7M (↓ 7%)

Total broadcast viewership for the World Series (YoY growth):
1) 
2018 – 14.1M
2) 
2019 – 13.6M (↓ 4%)

World Series viewership by year (YoY growth):
1) 
2009 – 19.3M
2) 
2010 – 14.2M (↓ 26%)
3) 2011 – 16.5M (↑ 16%)
4) 2012 – 12.6M (↓ 24%)
5) 2013 – 15.0M (↑ 19%)
6) 2014 – 13.9M (↓ 7%)
7) 2015 – 14.5M (↑ 4%)
8) 2016 – 22.8M (↑ 57%)
9) 2017 – 18.9M (↓ 17%)
10) 2018 – 14.1M (↓ 25%)
11) 2019 – 13.6M (↓ 4%)

Estimated World Series advertising (YoY growth) according to iSpot.tv:
1) 
2018 – $215.8M
2) 
2019 – $253.9M (↑ 18%)

More #1: Why Fox isn’t sweating the low-rated World Series: Sports Media Brief

More #2: Advertisers flood World Series in search of D.C. opinion leaders

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