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.