Well, both ALDS series are officially over. The Toronto Blue Jays swept the Texas Rangers and the Cleveland Indians sent David Ortiz and the Red Sox off into the sunset with a win last night. That means the ALCS will have central division winner Cleveland against wild-card winner Toronto for the next few weeks. Good luck Turner sports with that match-up.
It’s not that either team isn’t worthy of their spot in the ALCS. The Blue Jays have big bats, and some talented starting pitching. The Indians are young, and super aggressive on the base path. Both teams fully deserve to be representing the American League in the championship series.
That doesn’t mean people will tune in. This is worst case scenario for Turner when it comes to the options they were looking at when the playoffs started. It’s pretty simple, the Dallas-Forth Worth and Boston media markets are worth more than Cleveland-Akron and Toronto — which is not factored into traditional Nielsen ratings since it is in Canada.
The Rangers and Red Sox also have higher brand power and recognition than the Cleveland Indians and Toronto Blue Jays. Again, this has nothing to do with the talent on the field. It does have to do with how much the general public knows about each team. Casual fans aren’t going to tune in unless someone tells them there is a chance for a walk-off in the ninth. Casual fans would tune in to see David Ortiz in his last ALCS.
Now Turner must also factor in going up against the NLCS. Let’s face it, it is rare for people to tune into eight hours of baseball. If a casual viewer has to pick one game they would watch the Cubs, Dodgers, Giants or Nationals over Toronto and Cleveland. Turner is also going up against anything that has to do with the presidential election. With the chance of more emails being leaked and angry tweets coming out, Turner is in for a tough battle to get national attention.
It’s almost guaranteed that Turner will see a year over year drop from the NLCS aired on TBS and TNT last year. It will be interesting to see if Turner can match Fox’s numbers for the ALCS from last year. They hopefully can’t do any worse. FS1 had record low ratings. Marquee sporting events haven’t hit their viewership numbers all year. The problems are across the board — even the NFL is having issues. Hopefully there is some drama in the series because otherwise Turner is in trouble, and could have to help make their advertising partners whole.