ESPN “changed with the times” by going to a talk show format with SportsCenter a few years back, as they no longer showed extended highlights of actual games. I get that there’s an entire generation of fans who get their highlights on their phones, but there’s also people aged 30 and up who grew up watching actual sports highlights on TV, on ESPN, as part of their daily routine. Where is that enormous audience getting its sports highlights from now?
ESPN fired approximately 100 people on Wednesday, and the once mighty “Worldwide Leader” is now a ship that is already mostly sunk. Maybe, just maybe, they’ll try the highlight show deal again. They’ve really got nothing to lose at this point, considering the overall TV ratings for SportsCenter have plummeted in recent years.
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Unlike the NFL and NBA, baseball’s popularity hinges on team recognition, not just player recognition.
For instance, the NFL can hold a Super Bowl with small market teams like Indianapolis and New Orleans, and the NBA can hold an NBA Finals with Cleveland and Golden State (Bay Area) and still get monster TV ratings. But if MLB gets the Rays and Diamondbacks in a World Series some day? Baseball might have to close up shop if that happens.
The Red Sox are going to rake it in this week though. The Yankees were in town all week and the defending World Series champion Cubs are here through Sunday. Bleacher seats are going for over $100.
Big markets still rule the baseball world.