Last week we took a look at the final attendance figures for the Rays and how they showed only a 4% increase over 2008 despite hope for a big World Series bump at the gate.

One of the excuses for the poor showing at the ticket office is the economy and that any increase was impressive with ticket sales down for many teams. Well, if that is the case, certainly the people not going to the games were watching at home.

Not so much. The Biz of Baseball shows that TV ratings were down for baseball and breaks down the ratings for each ball club. And while attendance was up for the Rays, their TV audience was down.

Fox Sports Florida ended up with a 3.13 rating which is down 9.8% from last year. The 57,00 households is down 8.1%. The ratings were a little better for SUN Sports (3.54 and 65,000 households). This was the first year Rays games were broadcast on SUN, so no comparable data from 2008 was available.

If we average the Households for each network (61,000), the Rays ranked 20th in Major League Baseball, which is better than their 23rd place showing in attendance. Of course the 10 below the Rays are a who’s who of craptastic baseball (OAK, MIL, CLE, FL, WAS, BAL, SD, PIT, CIN, KC).

What does this mean for the Rays? Certainly last year’s numbers were boosted by the September pennant race. But to see an actual decrease in ratings must be disappointing for the Rays who had to be hoping that the TV audience would continue to grow. We are not sure how much revenue the Rays bring in from their TV deals, but these numbers will certainly cost the Rays money next time they negotiate and brings into question whether a Rays (Sunburst?) TV Network could ever be a viable option.

MLB Sees National TV Ratings Down for 2009 Regular Season [The Biz of Baseball]

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15 Comments

  1. Alex says:

    Cox Cable in Gainesville REFUSES to show any games broadcast on Sunshine. They feel there is no fan base in town that wants to watch Rays Baseball over Bass Fishing or a recap of Florida State highlights.

    Luckily, we get the FoxSports games... sometimes. The Marlins dominate FSN here... which I guess appeals to THE WORST FANBASE IN SPORTS?

    If TB wants viewership, they need to reach out to those stuck in the dead zone of North Florida between Tampa and Atlanta.

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    • AskUs says:

      Cox Cable in Gainesville and Ocala picked up the full Rays schedule late in the season, so they did start offering the Rays games on Sun Sports and will continue to. And they starting offering all the HD Rays games on an HD channel as well.

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  2. Indy Rays Fan says:

    Could I throw a theory out there that what may of had some impact on the ratings for Rays games this year is not being on an over-the-air station for half the games like they were last season. Being on cable exclusively means less potential eyeballs no matter how you slice it.

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  3. KillaTapes says:

    SunSports on Comcast and a few other providers didn't show any games for the first few weeks of the season. When they finally came to an agreement, they cut it off at South Florida, so I was only able to watch the games on FSN. This led to me purchasing a MLB subscription and watching most of the games on my computer.

    Probably doesn't have a lot to do with it, especially considering SunSports had better numbers than FSN, but who knows?

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  4. ben says:

    Half the games on FSN weren't even in HD, not a big deal, but if you can watch on Sun Sports in HD and then the next day the game isn't in HD on FSN, on my TV when the game wasn't HD I couldn't see the score board at the top or the players stats or anything. Not a big deal but being in HD exclusively would help. In 2008 the games that weren't on FSN were on like the Rays network which was a general local cable channel on Direct TV so I'm assuming it was available even for people that don't have FSN or Sun. Having like the 4 or 5 fox games of the week I see wasn't included, nor were the ESPN games the Rays played this year. Why can't the Rays have a Rays network like 2008 that carries the games?

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  5. Rayhawk says:

    All this techno talk, come on, its easy, no Joe mcGrane, and a dunce in kevin kennedy, im sorry it was painful except when BA was on, Kennedy must go.

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  6. Dirtbag Fan says:

    Perhaps it had something to do with the mumbling of Kevin Kennedy scaring viewers away

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    • Beth says:

      I have to agree. there is nothing appealing about Kennedy. He is pompous, he beats every point to death, and he's just not fun to listen to. He seems like some blowhard you would try to avoid at a party. I found Anderson to be much more engaging, and he's new to this broadcast business, so I'm sure he would get even better over time.

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    • Rayhawk says:

      Great minds think a like. ;o)

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  7. ben says:

    I agree Kennedy was bad, Brian Anderson was much better, I also liked the few times Todd Kallas was broadcasting they didn't talk about pointless stuff nobody cares about, they simply told you what was going on, and gave a few facts here and their none of the Kennedy beating things into the ground stuff.

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  8. Brendan says:

    Give Todd a chance before he leaves for Philly. Even Whit or Todd Wright would be better than either Kennedy or Anderson. They both drive me crazy with their inane pompous " I been there" attitude. A pair of losers.

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  9. Dirtbag Fan says:

    The chemistry was there between BA and Staats... there's no denying it.

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  10. leningan says:

    anderson always made me laugh when he started every sentence with, "Boy, oh boy..." that said, i liked the progress he showed throughout the season and found myself happy when it was he and not KK in the booth.

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