In the 1950s and 60s baseball was “America’s game”. I was a rabid baseball fan and worshiped the New York Yankees. Everyone had their team and favorite players and I regularly argued that Mickey Mantle was better than Willie Mays or Stan Musial (I was right but I’ll stay humble). It seemed like the whole world stopped to watch and cheer for their team in the World Series. I remember TV being rolled into my grade school auditorium and all huddled around the 24” black and white. That’s right! Games were played and televised during the day and the share of viewers watching the World Series in the 1960s was above 50% as compared to about 20% today and I believe a big part of that decline is due to the current TV mandated night games. All the games of the 1960 world series were during the day with start times about 2pm and the modern era World Series games usually start at 8 or later?
In 2017 television dictates all major sports start times, so some TV executive who probably doesn’t know which end of the bat to hold decides that games should be played at night. I realize that the world has changed since the 50s and soccer or video games have probably displaced baseball as America’s choice among the millennials and younger, but there are still a ton of baby boomers who love baseball and to them the World Series is still the ultimate sporting event. Since the average age of Baseball fans is 53 and as we get older we go to bed earlier, probably around 10, night games are FUBAR. If a game is scheduled for 8:05 it usually doesn’t start until after 8:30 and an average game is about 3 hours which means it usually ends after 11pm so the the core of your dedicated baseball audience is asleep!
I’m just waiting for the TV networks to look at the viewer numbers for baseball and all sports and figure out that if most of your targeted viewing demographic goes to bed before a game ends you might want to go back to day or early evening games and gain back your prime viewers which would attract more advertisers which would make the networks and advertisers more money, conserve and reduce the cost of energy by not having all those lights on, and make sure everyone gets a good night’s sleep. Not all that complicated!