The World Series: Baseball in decline


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As illustrated by this graph, baseball’s World Series is in a slow decline of viewership.

The recent World Series suggests that baseball may be in decline. According to The New York Times, game one of this year’s World Series obtained the title of the lowest-rated game with only 12.2 million viewers since its first game in 1984 at the Detroit’s Tiger Stadium.

To put that in perspective, around 1 billion people watched the World Cup this year, 111.5 million watched the Super Bowl this year and 32 million people watched season three of the League of Legends World Championship last year as Riot Games reported.

Despite the low popularity, baseball has come a long way since the first World Series played in 1903 when Major League Baseball assembled the top teams from the National League and American League to play against each other. A total of 110 series have been played.

Each year the World Series is broadcast on television, a lower number of people watch it. According to the ratings collected by Sports Media Watch, one can see a gradual decline in viewership since the highest rated game in 1996 with an average of 36.4 million viewers. Critics debate the reason for its decline ever since.

The Wall Street Journal suggests that baseball culture is not attractive to kids. Matthew Futterman pointed out in his article that “baseball has morphed into sports’ version of the opera—long productions filled with pomp, color and crazy facial hair that younger audiences just don’t get.”

An article written by Jeffrey Dorfman in Forbes Magazine pointed out that most of the games played in the World Series start after 8 p.m. and do not end until after 11 p.m. This is already considered late for some adults and definitely too late for kids.

With the younger audience in decline, baseball is slowly losing its audience over generations. However, some fans argue that this decline does not matter to them.

“[The decline of baseball] doesn’t bother me because I’m still going to watch it on tv with my family,” junior Dylan Church said.

The World Series brings together the best teams around the world to compete; many of the greatest moment in baseball happened in this competition.

“I watch baseball because of the thrill and the suspense of the game. Every inning is a new chance for each team to come back and its never over till its over,” junior Alex Kent said.

In the end, what defines how successful a sport becomes is the fan base. As long as the fans enjoy baseball, it is likely their children will too. And when their children grow up, they will pass on their love of baseball to the next generation.

It will be a long time before baseball dies out as long as the loyal fans continues to support it. However, if baseball does not change to deal with its current problems, it is unlikely that the audience of the next generation will be larger than today’s.