I Don't Care About the World Series TV Ratings

"Did you hear the kind of ratings The Walking Dead gets?" "Yeah, it's a 'monster' hit, get it?" "Jesus, man." - Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

Neither should you.

Did you know that more people watched the Vikings/Giants tire fire on Monday night than Game 1 of the World Series? It's true! The former drew a 9.5 share while the latter drew a 9.4 share. Of course, Major League Baseball later said that Game 1 averaged more viewers than the MNF failure carnival, so we can probably just call it a tie. And you know what? It doesn't matter.

Terrible programming gets great ratings all the time. Two and a Half Men is one of the worst things to ever be on television. It has been wildly popular for a decade, thanks to single-entendres and a braying laugh track that make a Married With Children rerun seem subtle and overly mannered. It gets better ratings than clearly superior shows, from Arrested Development to Parks and Recreation to whatever your favorite program is that doesn't involve military detectives and acronyms. (If you're reading this and are a viewer, please, seek the help that you need from the family, friends and clergy who are there to help you. You're not a bad person, but you're not well. You're not well at all.)

That problem becomes magnified when the terrible thing in question is terrible football, because the only thing on TV that still gets the kind of ratings that things like the Cosby Show and M*A*S*H once did is football, even when it features one squad having their concussed QB throwing 53 passes on his 13th day with the team.

So, to fret about baseball dying (or to proclaim it like a big dumb dummy) because the ratings are "bad" is a sucker's game. There's a million goddamn channels and internets and podcasts and phones with games and movies on them (Aaron Gleeman's excepted) and it's not football or Mark Harmon glowering at some punk threat to American hegemony, so OF COURSE the World Series will have lower ratings than it did a generation or two ago. And that's ok. Things are different now. Enjoy it for what it is, and don't worry about the ancillary shit.

(Also: people like Darren Rovell obsess about ratings. Don't be like Darren Rovell. This should be obvious.)

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