Fox will make less this year than last but that doesn’t (immediately) impact baseball. It’s possible that a period of prolonged and signficant declines could adversely affect the price paid during the next network negotiation, but I highly doubt this occuring. The World Series is a cornerstone to any network’s sports business and far to0 attractive for them to shortchange.
Last Friday’s defeat of the well-known, defending champion Yankees was not welcome for Fox as finalists San Francisco and Texas lack a similar national following. Last year’s World Series was the highest-rated since 2004.
“Fox is going to be challenged,” said sports TV consultant Mike Trager, a former NBC Sports vice president. “They better hope that (series) goes six or seven games.”
MLB is and will continue to be an incredibly attractive property that will remain highly sought after whenever network negotiations are concerned. The money won’t stop a’flowin’ so I’m not a’worryin’. And if Fox isn’t worried, why should you (emphasis mine):
Fox, which will broadcast its 11th straight World Series, has sold all the ad spots for the Series’ first five games at rates said to be running at $450,000 per 30 seconds. With a typical World Series game having 70-some spots, that can mean $31.5 million or more per game. Those kinds of numbers are appealing to Fox, which has the rights to broadcast MLB games through 2013. “We’re very happy with where baseball is today,” Fox Sports President Eric Shanks said. “If the deal was up this year, I think you would see Fox definitely at the table for renewal.”
See, Fox is happy, probably because they really like listening to Buck and McCarver, for some reason. So let’s stop sweating the ratings game and simply enjoy an exciting World Series. For those of you who can, you know, watch it easily.