Does Baseball Need To Get Younger -- Or The TV Game Quicker? Timing Is Everything

Finding those younger viewers for Major League Baseball games could get harder. The games are slow, other sports on the rise, and young viewers can be found doing other things.

The median age of a Major League Baseball fan is 53 years old; NFL is 47; and NBA is 37, according to ESPN. Those are significant differences.

MLB has shrunk the length of the games a bit, down to two hours and 56 minutes, from three hours and two minutes.

This year, it’ll do more: shorten the time between innings, and time conversations at the mound between pitcher and manager.

Additionally, it hopes managers can make quicker decisions by allowing iPads in the dugout. Previous to this season, MLB didn’t allow electronics in the dugout -- so managers needed to carry large and cumbersome binders. Very analog for a digital age.

Baseball contrasts against other sports in one major way: the lack of a running game time clock. NFL, NBA, NHL, soccer, all are pinned to time.



So how can you really speed up the game without a clock?

Cutting back six minutes on a game that still run around three hours probably isn't enough. Theatrical movies don’t last that long. The Oscars are only a bit longer.

Positives for baseball? It's advertiser-friendly and live TV, now more of a premium than ever before; and there are still decent overall ratings. For example, viewership for Fox’s national season of regular games grew 16%, to 2.2 million viewers in 2015 -- after three years of declines.

Time to keep that rally going.

1 comment about "Does Baseball Need To Get Younger -- Or The TV Game Quicker? Timing Is Everything".
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  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, April 5, 2016 at 4:28 p.m.

    Of course the games need to get faster, but that goes against drawing the most TV ad dollars, doesn't it. The real cure would be to make each game actually important----by dramatically reducing their number to, say, 30 or so per season. But that, too, goes against the ad and ticket sale revenue stream, so forget about it.

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