WBC Sees Increase in Ratings

International Baseball Federation
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…and Other Thoughts on the Classic From the IBAF

According to the International Baseball Federation, both attendance and television ratings are up for the current World Baseball Classic from what they were in 2006.

Here are what the stadiums have averaged in the first round:

Tokyo Dome: 28,352

Foro Sol Stadium in Mexico: 15,453

Rogers Centre in Toronto: 17,317

Hiram Bithorn Stadium in Puerto Rico: 14, 450

Average overall attendance: 18, 893

Average overall attendance in 2006: 13,499

Those statistics illustrate an increasing interest in baseball across the world which the IBAF hopes can help them pursue more projects in the future.

wbcusESPN has also experienced a raise in their ratings. Over the first four games featured on the four letter network, the channels are averaging 1.745 viewers, which is up about 44 percent from 2006.

Overall, the attendance at these events has risen 38 percent which illustrates that in this economy, most people are still finding a way to experience the things they love, such as baseball, even if it means spending some money to do so.

Obviously the biggest surprise of the entire contest has been the team from the Netherlands. After making it to the second round, it seems no one really wants to play the Netherlands. A few of the players from the Netherlands have been quoted as saying that they have gotten better at baseball because of the footwork they learned while playing soccer.

According to team Canada’s Joey Votto, the WBC has provided an atmosphere that is unlike anything he has ever seen and he has reportedly told the manager of his big league team, Dusty Baker, that if the stadium were filled in Cincinnati, players would be more likely to play harder.

There have been some talk that attendance will be hurt in the second round when games are played at Dolphin Stadium because the Dominica Republic will not be there and they draw much better than the Netherlands.

According to Pedro Gomez of ESPN, the loss of the Dominican Republic means either that every single All Star from that country will be playing in the WBC when it rolls around next time, or that none of these players will be featured and the Dominican Republic will not treat the WBC as MLB wants them to.

With the entire world truly on display during this classic, it has led many to wonder why, or if, MLB’s championship series should still be called the World Series since it doesn’t truly pit the entire world against one another as the WBC does.

Many people have been saying that they love the WBC, but are just unsure what to make of the Classic. There is a riff between American baseball fans as some are really into the action while others could care less. This could illustrate that the product is of interest to people, but those in charge need to do a better job of marketing it.

Still others have claimed that there needs to be some change to how the tournament happens since teams who have been eliminated still play out their pool and teams that advance keep playing meaningless games as well.

Bill Jordan is a contributor to BaseballReflections.com. He can be reached by e-mail at BillJordaniv@yahoo.com.

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5 Comments

  1. BillJordan

    March 19, 2009 at 9:51 pm

    If you have any thoughts on the information mentioned above, please share them here.

    Please check out BillJordan’s last blog post..Stadium Review: Rogers Centre Home of the Toronto Blue Jays!

  2. dominicanito

    March 21, 2009 at 3:43 am

    I felt so sad to see my team, the Dominican, losing to the Nederlands, but I still think, why MLB teams forbid players to participate?
    Why insurance does not cover for Albert Pujols?
    An all star team was missing from the Dominican for a different problems: A-Road, Manny Ramirez, Vladimir Guerrero, Alfonso Soriano, Rafael Furcal, Carlos Pena, Aramis Ramirez, Albert Pujols, Adrian Beltre, Ervin Santana, Francisco Liriano, Jose Valverde, Francisco Cordero and others.

  3. BillJordan

    March 23, 2009 at 8:32 am

    You have a good point. If the WBC wants to be taken seriously, and MLB wants it to be the marketing opportunity that it could be, they have to allow all players to be able to play unless they are injured to the extent where they would be witting out of a regular contest. There should, without a doubt, be some way of insuring these contests so that the owners’ pockets are not hurt if a player is.
    Also, thanks for linking this article.

    Please check out BillJordan’s last blog post..IBAF Announces Partnership with PIFB!

  4. Anastacia

    July 18, 2009 at 8:21 pm

    Added to my RSS, Thanks!

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