Faster Baseball Games? Maybe - But That Brings Less TV/Stadium Advertising

Major League Baseball games are too long -- boring some people. Should the games be shorter, there would be an upside (or downside, depending on where you sit): less advertising.

Outgoing MLB Commissioner Bud Selig would like to see games shortened to around two-and-a-half hours. The average time this season, so far, is three hours, two minutes and 47 seconds.

Selig’s thinking is more about the quality of the game -- keeping the action interesting and fast-moving, especially for less-frequent viewers of America’s national pasttime.

Rules to make the game quicker have been in place for some time, according to ESPN’s Keith Olbermann. Pitchers have to deliver a baseball within 12 seconds of the last pitch in most cases; batters aren’t allowed to step out of the batter’s box all the time to adjust -- whatever they need to adjust.



Stadium attendance and business affairs at Major League Baseball has never been better.  TV ratings? Good, but not great. The World Series the last three years posted average viewership per game of 12 million to 16 million viewers. This year’s MLB All Star game delivered its best results in four years -- 11.3 million viewers.

But considering that “live TV” programming -- the latest cool TV category -- continues to gain value, the MLB is in a good position. Is it the NFL? No. But MLB is still a strong brand with consistent business and marketing value.

So on ESPN, Keith Olbermann wondered whether outgoing MLB commissioner Selig shouldn’t rethink his plan to figure out a way to shorten baseball games. If he keeps the time in, though, shouldn’t he also find a way to give back all thatss related marketing/advertising revenue that comes with those extra 20 minutes?

Wait, give back to the fans? Better quality content and value? Anyone can hit that one out of the park.
2 comments about "Faster Baseball Games? Maybe - But That Brings Less TV/Stadium Advertising ".
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  1. Rob Frydlewicz from DentsuAegis, September 2, 2014 at 4:35 p.m.

    One of the big reasons games have gotten longer is due to the trend that began this century whereby, in the late innings, a new pitcher seems to come in after facing only one or two batters (even when he gets them out). Each pitching change is another commercial break. Maddening!

  2. Clifton Chadwick from Comunicaciones Kokopele, September 2, 2014 at 4:39 p.m.

    So, why should the revenue situation change. After all, ultimately aren't we talking "impressions," "eyeballs" and "target niche consumers?" Please tell me we're not making the error of counting commercials when we should be counting customers.

    If the number of commercials drops by 20% and the faster paced games increase viewership by 50% maybe the new games can ask for more money!

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