New Rules, New Viewers: Checking the MLB Viewership Scoreboard

05.30.2023 Marco Ochoa2 min

During the long days of summer, I can think of nothing better than hot dogs, cool drinks, and summertime baseball. Cox Media offers a variety of options to put your brand in front of the baseball audience.  

From a slew of regional networks to primetime coverage of games on TBS, ESPN, and MLB Network, we have plenty of baseball content to place your message.  

How has baseball performed so far in 2023? Well, the big news this year has to do with the new pitching clock that was instituted during spring training. The pitch clock was designed to speed up the pace of the game to keep fans more engaged, and so far, the new rule seems to be working! 

Across MLB, average game times have been reduced and batting averages are up. From a viewership perspective, the pitch clock also seems to be driving more fans to tune into games. Last month, Sportico reported that since opening day, overall deliveries across MLBs five national TV partners were up 14% versus the first two weeks of last year’s campaign. Sportico also reported that TV audiences have been on the rise at the RSN level.  

While it’s early in the season, one can still feel that America’s pastime is finding success with the new rules, and is also driving gains in several “advertiser-coveted” viewer categories. Per InsideHook, “Fans who aren’t going to games are tuning in from home in increased numbers, another indication that MLB’s rule changes have had their desired impact and made pro baseball into a more digestible product for viewers. “TV viewership for MLB games on TBS is way up so far,” according to Front Office Sports. “Game telecasts are averaging 304,000 viewers vs. 187,000 last year. That’s a 63% increase. TBS is also posting big gains in several advertiser-coveted viewer categories, including adults 18-49 years old (+26%), adults 25-54 years old (+30%) and kids/teens 2-17 years old (+40%).”” 

So where do we go from here? Well, this year’s All Star break will be here before we know it, and stars like Atlanta Braves’ Ronald Acuna Jr. and New York Mets’ Pete Alonso will likely be primed to compete yet again at the Home Run Derby. Shortly after that, we’ll be looking at the MLB Postseason in early Q4.  

Before we get there though, we have a plenty of baseball to yet to be played. Have you thought about how your target customers compare to the baseball audience? Reach out to your Cox Media representative today, to see how we can knock your marketing campaign out of the park with MLB this year! 

About the Author

Marco Ochoa

Marco Ochoa is a marketing professional with over 10 years of experience across B2B and B2C channels. He is the Customer Experience Manager on Cox Media’s Corporate Marketing Team and has been with the organization for over 7 years. As the customer experience leader for the organization, Marco spends much of his time developing and enhancing programs designed to help Cox Media be the best media partner possible for our clients. Aside from work, Marco spends his time with family, cooking, and tinkering with his ever-growing list of DIY projects.

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