By Matt McCarthy, 985TheSportsHub.com
It should come as no surprise that interest in the Red Sox waned in Boston in 2019 as the team turned in a disappointing World Series defense.
Television ratings for Red Sox baseball on NESN dropped 23 percent in 2019, according to Sports Business Daily. Only the Rangers, Mariners, and Diamondbacks saw a larger ratings hit this season.
Despite the decrease, the Red Sox were still one of the top five most-watched teams in baseball in 2019 with an average rating of 5.25.
It’s not hard to determine what drove the ratings decline. The Sox followed up a 108-win season with 84 wins in 2019. They also played the longest games in baseball by far at an average of three hours and twenty-five minutes per night.
The Red Sox weren’t the only major franchise in baseball to see a significant dip in their local TV ratings this year. The New York Yankees reported a 17 percent decline, despite a 103-win season. The San Francisco Giants ratings dropped 20 percent.
The St. Louis Cardinals (6.59) posted the highest local broadcast rating for the second-straight season, but their ratings were still down 10 percent from 2018. The Cleveland Indians finished a close second with an average rating of 6.55.
The Milwaukee Brewers and Minnesota Twins also finished ahead of the Red Sox. Minnesota posted a whopping 63 percent increase from their 2018 local ratings, bolstered by the Twins surprise 101-win season.
The San Diego Padres saw the largest ratings boost in 2019, a 73 percent improvement from 2018. The Philadelphia Phillies saw a 20 percent increase in their ratings after signing Bryce Harper last offseason.
On average, MLB reported a 1 percent decrease in combined ratings between the 29 local television markets in the United States. Numbers are not yet available from Toronto.