The Red Sox and Cardinals will play game one of the World Series on Wednesday. Unfortunately for Major League Baseball, this is one day later than it should have started and the impact on the television ratings will be huge.
If the World Series goes seven games, four of the games will compete head-to-head with an NFL game, a fifth game will go up against college football games, and game seven would compete with a major holiday in which people leave their houses at night (Halloween).
That’s a formula for a ratings disaster.
On the other hand, if MLB had started the season and the World Series just one day earlier (see right), only one game would have gone head-to-head with the NFL, one game would go up against college football, and game seven would have been the day before Halloween.
Even though it is the World Series, MLB cannot ignore the drawing power of football, especially the NFL where even bad games will do well in primetime.
In addition to losing the ratings war, it will be a public relations nightmare as headlines will be quick to point out how many more people watched mediocre NFL games over the pinnacle of baseball.
With no other major sporting events taking place on Wednesday and two marquee teams involved, game one of the World Series should have a big television audience. But because the World Series is starting on Wednesday, and not Tuesday, the ratings will likely plummet moving forward, and Major League Baseball only has itself to blame.
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