Wednesday, April 1, 2009

The final numbers

From the Mister Baseball, here are the final numbers on the World Baseball Classic. I don't know exactly what the number are supposed to mean. It was a success, everywhere but the United States. At least that's what the media is telling us.

The numbers, as usual (are you listening, saberheads) don't tell the entire story. The lists the ratings from the U.S., Canada, and Japan, mostly for ESPN and ESPN Desportes, which is probably where most people in the Caribbean and South America watched it.

But it doesn't count numbers for Europe, where a lot of people watched it. It doesn't count China or Chinese Taipei, or South Korea, even though a lot of Koreans might have watched in on Japanese television. That's what I used to do. It doesn't count the Australians or the Africans who watched.

It also doesn't count the number of people who watched on the computer, like I did. The numbers are geared towards the American market, which was the entire problem to start with. It was the 'World' Baseball Classic, not the 'American' Baseball Classic. Which could help explain why it was so popular around the world, but not in the States.
Here are the television numbers:
ESPN has averaged 1.68 million viewers, up 53% from the 1.1 million viewers in 2006

ESPN registered a 1.3 rating on ESPN, up 30% from a 1.0 rating in 2006

United States vs. Puerto Rico on March 14 delivered a 3.4 Hispanic rating on ESPN Deportes to become the highest rated World Baseball Classic telecast as well as the highest rated non-soccer event in the network’s history.

ESPN Deportes has been the most watched ad-supported cable network among Hispanic men (18+) topping all other cable networks regardless of language.

Japan ’s first Round Two game against Cuba on Sunday, March 15 delivered a 17.9 rating, even though it started at 4:45 a.m. on a Monday morning.

The first match-up between Japan and Korea earned a rating of 37.8 in Japan – with more than 45 million viewers tuning in nationwide ranking it as the highest rated sporting event of any kind in Japan, surpassing even the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, since the 2006 World Baseball Classic Final between Japan and Cuba (43.4).

Team Canada ’s television ratings increased 77% in Canada from the viewers that tuned into Canada ’s games in 2006.
Seems like some pretty good numbers to me, even though I don't really have a clue. Kind of like the guys running the economy right now. The numbers look good, but they don't really have a clue.
Attendance also seemed to be pretty good, at least to me. Way above what you get for spring training games, and well above what they're averaging in Oakland, San Francisco, Pittsburgh, and Washington:

Puerto Rico’s Round 2 defeat of the U.S. drew 30,595 to Miami ’s Dolphin Stadium on March 14

More than 42,500 fans attended the opening two games of Round 2 featuring four foreign teams on March 15 at PETCO Park in San Diego

The first match-up between Japan and Korea on March 7 was played in front of a sell-out crowd of 45,640 in the Tokyo Dome.

The Rogers Centre in Toronto held a crowd of 42,314 on March 7 for the United States thrilling victory over Canada .

But now lets get to the crux of the whole thing, and where Bud is making all of his money from:

Fifty-six companies are sponsoring the 2009 World Baseball Classic globally or regionally – more than double the number of partners from the inaugural tournament.

Partners are activating in 11 countries and territories that are participating in the event.

Seven partners are activating in multiple regions

12 Teams wore patches on their uniform, helmet or both

Yes, boys and girls, sponsorship. Advertising. Money in the pocket. This is no deferred salary payment, this is cash in hand. A lot of people might say the Classic was successful, but Bud says it was. Even though he won't take the thing seriously for the competitive nature of it, or to expand the game globally, he's extremely happy. Especially every time he gets an update from the accounts.

So the games were successful for Bud and the boys. It was a success around the world. It was a success for the players whose team won, and a disappointment for those who lost. It just wasn't a success in the States. We didn't win, and Americans didn't expect us to win, because we can't even get a legitimate All-Star team on the field. For those who disagree, I present LaTroy Hawkins.

For some reason, we seem to have the expectation of always winning at the international level. I don't have an issue with that. I'm true blue. But if we want to win, we can't sit back on the flag and expect the other countries to give it to us. We have to go out an make an effort.

See how that works. Pretty simple, isn't it. Just like counting your money, Bud.

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