For the 2016 season, the Tampa Bay Rays ranked 13th among the 29 Major League Baseball teams that call the United States home, according to new data from Nielsen (via Shadow of the Stadium).

That’s a good thing, but it is also a bad sign.

During all the Rays’ struggles with attendance and the bashing from other fans and national media that comes with it, the one thing Rays fans could always hold on to was TV ratings. The ratings were strong and it showed that there are plenty of fans and that the Rays just need to find a way to get them to the games more often.

But while the TV ratings are still strong, they are falling and they are falling fast.

This season, the Rays averaged a 2.95 rating in primetime. That translates to 55,000 households. That is way down from 75,000 last year and about half of what the average TV ratings were in 2010 when the Rays averaged 110,000 households per primetime game.

Now consider that attendance for Rays games was below 16,000 each of the past two seasons, for the first time since the Vince Naimoli years.

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If we consider that the average household includes 2.25 viewers, the total audience size (not including radio) is at its lowest point in at least eight years and has been generally falling since 2010.

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The good news, if you want to call it that, is that we may be nearing the floor.

We have long speculated that no matter how bad things got, that the Rays would still draw at least 13,000 fans each year. The last two seasons suggest that the floor for attendance may now actually be closer to 15,000, although next season will be a true test of that number. Barring some shocking free agent signings, there is little to suggest that this team is guaranteed to be a playoff contender next year.

What we don’t know is how far the ratings will fall. We have already seen them nearly cut in half. If the ratings continue to fall, the fans are going to lose their best argument against keeping the Rays in Tampa Bay.

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13 Comments

  1. zenny says:

    The problem is that not only only the Rays losing, but they're losing and their boring. Need some more personalities to recapture the attention of the casual fan. Unfortunately, sabermetrics doesn't measure for "fun".

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  2. monte says:

    Horrendous season is over. Bad year for the Rays and bad year for Rays Index.

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  3. Giles Dowden says:

    As a Rays fan, I used to consider this website an important daily appointment for me.

    No longer.

    Thank you for running a great website about the Rays for a number of years.

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  4. Dave L says:

    The Mets are fielding a starting wild card lineup tonite 1/3 of which is Asdrubal, Rene Rivera and Loney.

    I don't know what that means, it doesn't indicate that we should have kept any of them, but it is a whacky happenstance.

    RIP 2016 Rays, they became unwatchable anyway. Maybe Cork followed his mom's sage advice, if you have nothing good to say, don't say anything......

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  5. Jim says:

    Cork,
    So basically you’ve abandoned this site/blog in the most pathetic way possible. You don’t have the balls or the time to even address what is going on?!?!? We’ve been a pretty passionate audience for this team and for this site and you basically have just cut and run on us. It oozes class and professionalism.
    Jim

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  6. Brent says:

    title of article: "The Rays(Index) still have strong t̶v̶ ratings but there is a s̶c̶a̶r̶y̶ (lazy blogging) trend emerging"

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    • Jim says:

      Cork is a ball-less POS. He has time to use the raysindex Twitter for bullshit tweet about the lightning, yet he doesn't give an F about this site.

      We've been dedicated readers/posters/fans for years, yet his lazy F-ing ass doesn't have the decency to even make a final post. He just bailed. Cork you are a giant dripping vagina!!!

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      • Dave L says:

        Grow up and get a life. Its just a website for god sakes.

        You sound like a middle school girl distraught that her favorite boy band just broke up. He doesn't owe you or any of us a damn thing.

        This is obviously is a one man show, nothing goes on during the playoffs anyway. Whats his topic for the last month? Rays free fall to tied for second worst in MLB?

        This place has been one whiny group-bitch the last few months.

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        • Greg says:

          "Rays free fall to tied for second worst in MLB"

          Now if we just could have gotten the 2nd overall pick to go with that 2nd worst record...

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  7. Brent says:

    Since this blog site isn't active after the Rays reg season (not like is was much during it either), it was a cool moment in last night's Game 1 of the World Series to watch ole' JoeMah & Martinez looking on as Guyer gets a HBP RBI (lol), and Zorilla leading the series in hits so far...

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    • Trevin says:

      Speaking of rating, how about one of baseball's most watched games ever ended w/ JoeMah' & Zorilla holding up the trophies...

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