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State of the Screens

Major League Baseball Swings Into Action (For Now)

By July 30, 2020November 15th, 2021No Comments

Key details for shortened Major League Baseball season:
1) 60 
game regular season down 63% from 162
Each game has the same impact as 2.7 during a typical season

Video #1: Here’s a look at the virtual fans Fox is using for the Cubs-Brewers game at Wrigley Field. 

Worth your time: This CNN post has several fantastic photos showing how different this season already is.

Reminder: Professional baseball has been around 150+ years and played a season during the 1918 Spanish Flu.  Babe Ruth fell ill during the season, and many believe the had contracted the virus.

Big question: How big will viewership be this season?

The bull case for viewership: MLB Opening Night posted its largest viewership number in more than a decade.

Total viewers for MLB Opening Night (YoY growth) according to Sports Media Watch:
1) 2019 (BOS-SEA) – 1.2M
2) 2020 (NYY-WSH) – 4.0M (↑ 237%)

The bear case for viewership:  Sunday Night Baseball was down 25% vs. last year.

Video #2: ESPN sees largest ever audience for MLB opening night

More #1: Baseball is back. And it looks a lot different

More #2: The pandemic is accelerating the video gamification of sports

More #3: Slimmed-Down Baseball on TV Has Broadcast Workers Worried

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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