MLB Network Numbers Highest Ever, Even as Game Numbers Go Down

In contrast to actual game broadcasts, the viewership for MLB Network has never been better.

The Awful Announcing blog reports that overall ratings for MLBN during Q2 2014 was the highest ever, averaging 206,000 viewers during primetime (Monday to Sunday 800pm to 1100pm Eastern) and 105,000 on average all day.  (The primetime number is larger than the all day number because the figures represent number of viewers for an average quarter hour, and not the total number who tuned in during the whole time period.)

The author of the post speculates that it is diehards who are driving up all-day MLB Network viewing, while game broadcasts viewership is down because it is casual fans who are abandoning those.  There might be something to that, but I wonder whether it’s not something more: that increasingly attention-challenged viewers are losing interest in committing to ever-lengthening game broadcasts, and instead are opting for the studio shows that summarize the sport and, during primetime, the up-to-fifteen games going on at once.  This would be especially true if your team is not one of those playing at the time—even if you’re a diehard, why commit to a game you don’t care much about when you can pop onto MLB Network and see three entertaining guys sum up things for you?

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