A few weeks ago, Maury Brown of Forbes.com published television ratings for all 29 US MLB teams. While other Rays writers have mentioned that Rays ratings are down and how that is not a good thing for the Rays fanbase’s best argument.
But what about Total Interaction – the amount of people per game that are engaging the product, either in person or on television? Ideally, we would like to include people using the MLB app or following along on twitter, but those are difficult to ascertain. But let’s combine attendance and ratings and see what we get.
First the final 2016 MLB attendance. You’ve probably seen this before. The Rays are on the bottom.
Let’s now look at the same list adding TV viewers (TVs tuned in times 2.25 – viewers per household).
Due to their ratings and average viewers per household, the Rays jump from 29th to 20th among domestic markets. The Rays have the third biggest boost in interaction due to their ratings, trailing only Cleveland and Philadelphia.
Indicative of record, the bottom 12 teams on the above list, from LAA down, all had losing records in 2016. The top 11 teams on the above list, from CLE up, had winning records.
Due to the size of the Tampa Bay market, the Rays will never be at the bottom of ratings. If the team is good, their ratings will probably be better than average. As I mentioned in several posts, Tampa Bay is a small market, similar to Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Kansas City, and Milwaukee. When these teams are good, people watch.
And all cases besides Tampa Bay, when these teams are good, people go to games. Due to precedent then, we can boldly make the assumption that something else is in the way of Tampa Bay fans attending Major League Baseball.
Stadium location, perhaps?