The National Football League has released a Pandora’s Box nightmare and no one is to blame but themselves. Because of their ineptness dealing with political and racial issues, they now face bad ratings, angry former fans, burned jerseys and low attendance.
Their garbage is Major League Baseball’s treasure. According to New York Newsday, viewership for this year’s American League Championship Series between the New York Yankees and the Houston Astros was up 95 percent over last year’s ALCS.
The astonishing numbers speak for themselves. Newsday reported, “Game Seven of the ALCS between the Yankees and Astros on Saturday night averaged 9.92 million viewers on Fox Sports One, the most for any telecast in the network’s four-year history. The audience peaked at 11.76 million from 11 to 11:15 p.m. Eastern Time.”
Furthermore, for the entire series, viewership nearly doubled over last year’s Cleveland Indians-Toronto Blue Jays matchup. New York is a major market, but 95 percent is unheard of in the TV ratings world.
Then there is the NFL, mired in political and racial mayhem. NFL ratings have mostly been a nightmare. This week’s “Sunday Night Football” was up 16 percent. But that can easily be attributed to the game being a rematch of last year’s dramatic Super Bowl between the New England Patriots and the Atlanta Falcons.
Other less notable games are way down in viewership. And while this trend continues, baseball flourishes.
Not long ago, baseball was left for dead as outmoded and tarnished by a league-wide scandal over steroid use. Now steroid-free (supposedly) and free of major anthem protests that anger American sports viewers, Major League Baseball looks positively inviting compared to the showboating National Football League millionaire players.
The match-up of the Los Angeles Dodgers, looking for their first World Series ring since 1988, and the Houston Astros with the best young talent in baseball looks appealing to the ratings experts. The NFL is experiencing advertisers leaving their televised games to avoid affiliation with what many Americans tune in to escape.