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Keith Olbermann: Why No One Watches Baseball


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Olbermann identifies baseball's big problem right now — it has become a regional sport.

"In 1968 [Super Bowl] viewership began to rise and it never stopped, because the NFL spent the '50s and '60s trying to obtain something that baseball was desperate to get rid of: national teams. In the '50s there was a nationally televised baseball game of the week and then there was a nationally televised New York Yankees game of the week. And rather than appreciating what that meant — that there could be Yankees fans in Manhattan and in Manhattan, Kan., and Manhattan, Nev. — baseball did everything it could to level the playing field."

"Meanwhile over at the NFL, Pete Rozell was trying to figure out how to make New York Yankees. He wanted national franchises. And he got them. The Green Bay Packers, the Dallas Cowboys, the Raiders. Eventually all of them. All NFL teams have national fan bases or at least enough national support so it really doesn't matter anymore which cities are represented in the Super Bowl."

Game attendance and local TV ratings are strong, but in general fans only follow their teams, they don't follow all of MLB. That's why World Series ratings aren't gangbusters.

I find baseball much more enjoyable on the radio. In football, I dont know what every play formation looks like from a 3 second verbal description but in baseball I know where third base is.

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