One of the overriding themes this October has been the idea that the St. Louis Cardinals possess the “best fans” in baseball. The backlash over this is one of the reasons nobody outside of Cardinals or Red Sox fans are too thrilled about the World Series when it begins Wednesday in Boston.
St. Louis Today reports on Monday that television ratings in the market for the NLCS were the lowest since they’ve been charted in 1989. Maybe people aren’t as gaga for the Cards as we’ve been led to believe?
This NLCS was the worst-rated in St. Louis of any of the nine in which the Redbirds have participated since ratings began being tracked on a daily basis in 1989.
According to numbers from The Nielsen Co., 28.9 percent of homes in the market with a TV were tuned in, on average, to the six telecasts that were carried by TBS. That falls behind the previous low, a 29.6 figure in 2002 when Fox (KTVI, Channel 2 locally) drew a 29.6 rating for a series that never generated much oomph in St. Louis — the Cards lost the first two games and won just once as they were steamrolled by San Francisco.
A few things to consider. First the game was on a Friday night, typically a bad night for television ratings. On top of that the game was a blowout, pretty much over by the fourth inning, which means less eyeballs on the screen. You could also argue the Cardinals in the NLCS is becoming old hat and familiarity end up producing less interest. St. Louis Today’s media writer, Dan Caesar, cites that the game was on a TBS, as opposed to over-the-air television resulting in the decline.
For media-types, it bears watching what sort of ratings this Series draws. On the one hand you have two clubs that have each won the World Series twice in the last decade, which would make it seem like a marquee matchup. Yet this lingering anti-Cardinals sentiment coupled with the fact many folks are tired of seeing Boston sports franchises win all the time might make it very difficult to attract casual viewers unless it runs six or seven games.
That said, it’s doubtful fans in St. Louis and Boston care all that much if you watch or not.