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#21 TheLeviathan

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 10:50 PM

Financially, yes it is.But I can't imagine that can sustain a diminishing interest level among future fans.

 

Or maybe baseball will continue to bro-out and milk 28 year olds for $24 craft beers.It's certainly working right now.

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#22 KirbyDome89

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 11:49 PM

 

Cord cutting/Commercials: Lots of people have cut out cable in their bills, and don't have access to live sports. Especially baseball when the playoffs are broadcasted on FS1 and TBS. Kids today are used to a Netflix experience with no ads. Live sports are stuffed full of commercial breaks, and can be a grind to sit through.

Spot on. None of my friends, myself included, have cable subscriptions. Streaming (pirating), going to the bar, or if I'm in the garage, listening to the radio all suffice. I would also add that the MLB blackout policy is ridiculous which forces a lot of people into huge cable bills if they want to watch their team (at least legally....)

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#23 KirbyDome89

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Posted 14 January 2018 - 12:25 AM

 

Financially, yes it is.But I can't imagine that can sustain a diminishing interest level among future fans.

 

Or maybe baseball will continue to bro-out and milk 28 year olds for $24 craft beers.It's certainly working right now.

I agree, the tv money has to have viewership propping it up. If people aren't interested, the networks aren't going to continue to pay massive amounts for rights to broadcast the games. 

 

I think there are a lot of factors involved in baseball viewership declining, and many have already been touched on. To add to those, it's easier to get a pickup game of basketball or touch football together than it is to field a baseball game. I'm also surprised at how few public batting cages I see. Equipment is essential, but most importantly, kids need to have access.  

 

Just curious, but what would you define as a bro-out? I'm worried that my age and love for all kinds of beer puts me at risk.


#24 nclahammer

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Posted 14 January 2018 - 06:48 AM

 

Baseball still ranks 1st or 2nd in the US as far as number of youth participant. This recent Washington Post article has baseball particiation just slightly behind basketball: https://www.washingt...m=.3330e0c44016

Baseball is one of the things that makes this country great and I believe that it will always be popular and have a special place in the culture. We need to trust that the special game of baseball will continue to thrive.

Yes, there is a lot of work to be done to ensure baseball stays healthy. Yes, there is much entertainment competition among the young people and it is difficult to get them interested in a 'slow' sport such as baseball when they are used to staring at a flashing screen providing instant entertainment all day.

As far as pricing families out of the market. I don't think baseball is doing it any more than any other of the major sports. With the abundance of baseball games and deals for the consumer willing to do even a minimal amount of research, there are plenty of deals to be had. The extra value Twins games for the 2017 season in the family section were $10 and included a hot dog and soda. Do we remember the 33 games for $99 deal the Twins had at the start of 2017?

Baseball will survive and thrive.

Great points.I have a 20 game season ticket package with two $13 tickets per game, what I consider a good deal.The Sweet Spot card saves me 10% on my food and I take each of my daughters to their own Sunday Kid's Day game(they get free autographs & run the bases) & date night with my wife, outings with friends.If the same survey were conducted in May, I would predicts baseball would easily be in double-digits.Take me out to the ballgame.

 

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#25 spycake

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Posted 14 January 2018 - 07:37 AM

I don't think this survey is evidence of diminishing interest overall. Yes, it is the #1 favorite sport among fewer people now, but if more attention is paid to sports overall (a likely proposition), baseball likely garners equal or greater attention as someone's #2 or even #3 today than it could have among many "#1 fans" from years ago.

Put another way, seeing a distribution of #1 favorite sports tells us very little -- I'd say, next to nothing -- about overall interest levels, given the abundance of extra factors and how those factors have changed dramatically over time.

Edited by spycake, 14 January 2018 - 07:37 AM.

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#26 ashburyjohn

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Posted 14 January 2018 - 08:49 AM

I don't think this survey is evidence of diminishing interest overall. Yes, it is the #1 favorite sport among fewer people now, but if more attention is paid to sports overall (a likely proposition), baseball likely garners equal or greater attention as someone's #2 or even #3 today than it could have among many "#1 fans" from years ago.

Put another way, seeing a distribution of #1 favorite sports tells us very little -- I'd say, next to nothing -- about overall interest levels, given the abundance of extra factors and how those factors have changed dramatically over time.

Exactly so. The Gallup poll, and the graph of past polls, undoubtedly conveys information. But not of the sort that has to do with "pricing", the theme of the OP here. And not of anything very new, either, since the inflection point with respect to football was back in the 1960s.

 

Steps that Baseball (as an entity) might take that would improve the numbers in this graph, such as converting to a once-a-week spectacle with only ace pitchers pitching, could well be harmful to the sport overall. Said another way, there are probably several more-pertinent questions that Gallup could have asked, than the one they did. But those would probably require focus groups, and not a simple one-answer question - those have doubtless been performed again and again, but are less newsworthy.

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#27 mikelink45

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Posted 14 January 2018 - 09:28 AM

 

My address is PO Box 432, Statesville NC 28687

I would love to just send them to someone who would value them, but in my social security years I would like to get something back for them.Lots of HOF rookie cards like Ripken, Griffey, etc and notebooks and boxes of cards.Lots of memories in those cards, but I will be moving them in the next few years.My problem is that I have purchased them, enjoyed them, but never sold any.

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#28 TheLeviathan

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Posted 14 January 2018 - 09:29 AM

 

I don't think this survey is evidence of diminishing interest overall. Yes, it is the #1 favorite sport among fewer people now, but if more attention is paid to sports overall (a likely proposition), baseball likely garners equal or greater attention as someone's #2 or even #3 today than it could have among many "#1 fans" from years ago.

Put another way, seeing a distribution of #1 favorite sports tells us very little -- I'd say, next to nothing -- about overall interest levels, given the abundance of extra factors and how those factors have changed dramatically over time.

 

Yet, when football saw a modest decline the last decade - it was soccer and basketball that picked up to those numbers and baseball continued to show decline.Which implies that perhaps that spin is not accurate.The demographics listed later are also rather interesting.

 

I think it's easy to cite revenues and say "all is well", but I'd say that's also misleading.No one statistic is going to perfectly answer this kind of question because there are layers and layers to something like this, but there are plenty of arms to this: World Series viewership is down significantly since the '80s.Even with population increases, the 1980s saw consistent viewership over 30M.Whereas baseball in the last 10 years has only cracked that number once for a Game 7.Typically the viewership is half that, closer to the 17-18M range.Athlete recognition and popularity numbers are not strong for baseball, relative to sports as obscure as MMA or football/hockey where their faces are more likely to be obscured by playing equipment.The average age of a viewer is 55 years old.  

 

Maybe baseball is just becoming a regional thing and it will thrive in that form.But I would bet most people would think the sport is stronger when it has a national feel, rather than a regional one. 

Edited by TheLeviathan, 14 January 2018 - 09:31 AM.


#29 ashburyjohn

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Posted 14 January 2018 - 10:17 AM

I would love to just send them to someone who would value them, but in my social security years I would like to get something back for them.Lots of HOF rookie cards like Ripken, Griffey, etc and notebooks and boxes of cards.Lots of memories in those cards, but I will be moving them in the next few years.My problem is that I have purchased them, enjoyed them, but never sold any.

Talk to a reputable card dealer in your area. There's a certain date, the exact one which I've forgotten but I think is in the mid 1980s, beyond which cards are of essentially zero market value - supply vastly exceeds present and foreseeable demand, and the dealer will tell you so. This is true of rookie cards, HOFers, etc. While he'll have his own financial motivations, you'll likely find the same answer from each one you ask: recycle them. You won't even get a lowball offer.

 

Cards earlier than the magic date may have value, if in perfect condition. My problem is that my brother and I played with our cards when we were kids. Who knew we had such expensive toys to wreck?

 

Cardboard is heavy and thus expensive to ship. So even secondary solutions such as tarheeltwinsfan suggested aren't really on the table.

 

I wish I knew what to do with mine. :)

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#30 mikelink45

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Posted 14 January 2018 - 12:04 PM

 

Talk to a reputable card dealer in your area. There's a certain date, the exact one which I've forgotten but I think is in the mid 1980s, beyond which cards are of essentially zero market value - supply vastly exceeds present and foreseeable demand, and the dealer will tell you so. This is true of rookie cards, HOFers, etc. While he'll have his own financial motivations, you'll likely find the same answer from each one you ask: recycle them. You won't even get a lowball offer.

 

Cards earlier than the magic date may have value, if in perfect condition. My problem is that my brother and I played with our cards when we were kids. Who knew we had such expensive toys to wreck?

 

Cardboard is heavy and thus expensive to ship. So even secondary solutions such as tarheeltwinsfan suggested aren't really on the table.

 

I wish I knew what to do with mine. :)

This is really helpful.But I am not sure how many good card stores are left.Before the industry blew up and the market was flooded there were some good places in the Twin Cities.But the over production really hit everything and the stores I visited are no longer there.If anyone has some Twin City options I would love to hear them.Thanks for your note. 


#31 ashburyjohn

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Posted 14 January 2018 - 12:43 PM

Try going to a card show. They still exist. When you go, the demographics you see will explain why the business is dying*. Twin Cities Sports Collectors Club: http://www.tcscc.org/ Bring a list of what you've got, and strike up a conversation with a dealer there who has time on his hands and likes to talk shop.

 

Or, click this link for a map from Google of sports collectibles stores in the Twin Cities area, and see who's near you.

 

* (Which ties into the spirit of the OP in this thread - I don't deny that the youth market is worrisome for baseball. But kids aren't collecting football cards either, so again it's not an absolute metric of anything except what it is.)

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#32 Riverbrian

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Posted 14 January 2018 - 02:57 PM

At a certain point. The Results of a poll will start to replicate. The poll size is sufficient. It is telling you something. However... You have to question whether it is telling you anything important and in my opinion. It really isn't. Baseball used to be America's Favorite Sport until the mid-60's. It isn't anymore. We all knew that. 

 

Favorite, 2nd favorite, 3rd favorite doesn't tell enough of a story. America has the ability to keep 10 sports well fed. 

 

Some other thoughts: 

 

Don't use participation as a barometer. Participation has nothing to do with viewership. Next time you go to a Rock Concert... look around you and ask yourself...How many of these people in attendance have played in a Rock Band? Head down to Talladega and logically think about the participation levels of the interesting people around you. There are people who watch the Food Network who can't cook. (I'm raising my Hand). 

 

Don't focus on the ratings decline. Rating are just plain in decline across the board. 60 Minutes is a fantastic show but it has a third of the audience size it used to. Baseball, 60 Minutes all have to understand the reality of the over flow of options and the divided attention of the nation. 

 

The thing that Baseball needs to worry about: Simple Demographics:

 

Baseball is 85% White, 70% Male and 50% over the age of 55. 

 

That is getting kind of niche-ish. 

 

Baseball will look at these numbers and immediately realize that they need to fix it. 

 

The research has been commissioned... the results have been studied and conclusions have been reached and we have been hearing about it lately: Pace of Play. 

 

When a flood of options are causing a decline. There is only one thing you can do to fix it. You have to Increase your demographic base. That means more younger viewers, more women, and more ethnic audiences. 

 

Baseball seems to be focusing on decreasing the dead time. That's a mistake in my opinion. 

 

Baseball is a slow game and they can try to speed it up incrementally with a pitch clock and other suggestions. It won't work... it will never look like Elf throwing snowballs. Baseball is what it is. 

 

What Baseball needs to focus on is: What are they doing with the inevitable dead time.

 

I love Dick and Bert but... Baseball needs to get away from that traditional presentation. Use that dead time to educate and entertain. Provide the story lines that will make the game interesting. Change the look and feel of the broadcasts... Use the relevant data available. Launch Angles, Spin Rates, Heart Rates in big moments. Human interest clips of Jose Berrios playing guitar or building sand castles or whatever. Interview the parents, tell the condensend stories of their child hood poverty upbringings, short clips of Jose Berrios visiting St. Judes and the children he encountered. Hire broadcasters who know how to take this information and entertain with it. The old white men won't like it but they'll hang through it. 

 

Use the dead time to educate and make the players stars.

 

 

The other suggestion comes from George Carlin: Randomly placed landmines in the outfield. That'll work but it is way too extreme. 

 

 

 

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