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State of the Screens

Baseball Saw a Million More Empty Seats. Does It Matter?

By October 24, 2019No Comments

One million fewer fans attended Major League Baseball games versus last year, but revenues continue to rise due to increased media rights.

2019 baseball attendance by level:
1) 
Major leagues – 69M
2) Minor leagues – 41M
3) Total – 110M

Major League Baseball attendance per game (YoY growth) according to Sports Business Journal:
1) 2007 – 32,766 (↑ 4%)
2) 2008 – 32,520 (↓ 1%)
3) 2009 – 30,330 (↓ 7%)
4) 2010 – 30,138 (↓ 1%)
5) 2011 – 30,236 (↓ 0%)
6) 2012 – 30,895 (↑ 2%)
7) 2013 – 30,514 (↓ 1%)
8) 2014 – 30,458 (↓ 0%)
9) 2015 – 30,517 (↑ 0%)
10) 2016 – 30,169 (↓ 1%)
11) 2017 – 30,042 (↓ 0%)
12) 2018 – 28,837 (↓ 4%)
13) 2019 – 28,326 (↓ 2%)

Total revenue for Major League Baseball:
1) 1992 – $1.2B
2) 2007 – $6.1B
3)
 2018 – $10.3B

Change since 2007:
1) Attendence – ↓ 14%
2) Revenue – ↑ 69%

Fox TV deal for Major League Baseball (% growth):
1) Current (2014-21) – $4.2B
2) Next (2022-28) – $5.1B (↑ 22%)

Flashback: The Sports TV Bubble Shows Signs of Weakness

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%)

Top 5 teams ranked by local TV ratings according to Sports Business Journal:
1) St. Louis Cardinals – 6.59
2) Cleveland Indians – 6.55
3) Milwaukee Brewers – 6.37
4) Minnesota Twins – 6.33
5) Boston Red Sox – 5.25

Bottom 5 teams ranked by local TV ratings:
1) Oakland A’s – 0.76
2) Seattle Mariners – 0.83
3) Chicago White Sox – 0.95
4) Texas Rangers – 1.17
5) Anaheim Angels – 1.24

More #1: Put the Playoffs Back in Waking Hours

More #2: MLB Sleeve Patches Could Be More Valuable Than NBA Jersey Ads, According to Nielsen Analysis

Michael Beach

Michael Beach

Michael Beach is the Chief Executive Officer of Cross Screen Media, a media analytics and software company that enables marketers to plan, activate, and measure CTV and linear TV at the local level. Michael is also the founder and editor of State of the Screens, a weekly newsletter focused on video advertising that is a must-read for thought leaders in the advertising industry. He has appeared in such publications as PBS Frontline, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Axios, CNBC and Bloomberg, and on NPR’s Planet Money podcast.

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