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Old 11-04-2012, 01:13 AM
Location: Los Angeles, CA
167 posts, read 234,297 times
Reputation: 36


Originally Posted by Lifeshadower View Post
I don't have access to the historical stats of the MLB vs. NBA, but its worth remembering that before the 1980s, the NBA was a small league. In terms of relative growth, the NBA has grown much faster than the MLB.

If you do have them, I'll be happy to take a crack at it.
Yes. NBA franchises are very, very young in comparison to their MLB counterparts. The result is that the NBA franchises don't have the established history that the MLB franchises have. That's why us being able to even have this conversation in the first place is amazing.

World Series television ratings - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
National Basketball Association Nielsen ratings - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

MLB WS ratings:
2000: 12.4
2001: 15.7
2002: 11.9
2003: 12.8
2004: 15.8
2005: 11.1
2006: 10.1
2007: 10.6
2008: 8.4
2009: 11.7
2010: 8.4
2011: 10.0
2012: 7.6

NBA Finals ratings:
2000: 11.6
2001: 12.1
2002: 10.2
2003: 6.5
2004: 11.5
2005: 8.2
2006: 8.5
2007: 6.2
2008: 9.3
2009: 8.4
2010: 10.6
2011: 10.2
2012: 10.1

The World Series has had 4 seasons where the coverage was less than 10.0 while the NBA finals has had 6 seasons where the ratings were less than 10.0

Now, looking at the historical overall picture, neither the MLB or NBA are at any of their heights, and I would agree to say that the MLB is on a steeper decline than the NBA, but both in the larger scheme of things are in decline from their heydays. So saying that the MLB is waning is equivalent to saying that the NBA is waning as well. Since Jordan retired, the NBA finals hasn't gotten above a 12.0 rating even with the younger generation watching more and more hoops.

What that means to me: nothing. I'll still watch both.
Again, this is a recent trend. It's also worth noting (through common sense) that today's youth are living in a very different world than those who grew up in the 90's in terms of their entertainment/leisure options. It's also worth nothing (through census data), that the American population has grown considerably in the last few decades. Therefore, television ratings will naturally be lower.

Yeah, I'd agree that the 1994 strike really did kill a lot of the viewership for the MLB.

However, there's so much parity in the NBA that the Celtics and Lakers don't have more than half of the NBA championships combined.....its only in my imagination that 33/66 finals rings aren't divided between two teams (meaning that the Lakers and Celtics each own 25% of the NBA finals rings).

In addition
New York Yankees Team History & Encyclopedia - Baseball-Reference.com

Between 1982 and 1995, the Yankees didn't even make the playoffs. In the last 10 years, the Yankees have only won ONE ring. The Giants, Red Sox, and Cardinals have won more. Even taking the Yankees 27 rings into consideration, they in fact have less of a monopoly on MLB championships than either the Celtics or Lakers (24% of WS rings are owned by Yankees, which 26% of NBA finals are owned by Celtics and 25% are owned by Lakers)
Yes, there's so much parity in MLB that this year's final four teams were the Yankees, Tigers, Cards, and Giants. Yankees, Giants, and Cards were the last three World Series winners. Detroit made it to the ALCS last year.

And I'm sure people were raving about MLB's parity from 1996-2004 when the Yankees were dominating. Parity in MLB is overblown.

You sound like you have an ax to grind with MLB, which is completely understandable. That doesn't mean the NBA doesn't have its own faults considering that most of the large trades that go on in basketball are to the benefit of a few teams because of the need for media exposure.

You tell me how you would feel if a trade was denied because of "reasons of basketball"
Adrian Gonzalez traded to the Red Sox in 2011.

Ichiro Suzuki traded to the Yankees in 2012.

Hanley Ramirez traded to the Dodgers in 2012 (although I'm not complaining).

Prince Fielder left Milwaukee to fetch a bigger contract.

Albert Pujols got a big contract from the Angels.

Because aside from the Thunder and Spurs, small market franchises in the NBA are doing so well. Let me know when the Charlotte Bobcats win the NBA Finals.
The Charlotte Bobcats have been in existence for less than 10 years. The Kansas City Royals haven't even made the playoffs since 1985.

The Thunder and Spurs are proof that small market franchises in the NBA can be successful if managed properly.

If the NBA was a big-market league, then how is it that the Spurs have won 4 titles since 1999 while the Knicks have won only 2 playoff series?

Remember the title of the thread: how close is the nba to passing major league baseball as the number 2 spot.

In the real world, for most of the country, the NBA is still behind the MLB, for better and for worse. All the statistics point to that.

As for the future trajectory, given how the past 10 years has gone for the NBA and MLB (as in both declined), it will be a while before the NBA passes the MLB. No amount of saying how much baseball sucks, its boring, etc. will change the current trends.
No, not all the statistics point to that. The ratings don't. The social media doesn't.

And have we not learned anything? Basketball has been on the upswing in *recent* years.
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Old 11-04-2012, 01:19 AM
Location: Los Angeles, CA
167 posts, read 234,297 times
Reputation: 36
Lifeshadower, one major reason why the NBA has the potential to overtake MLB is that unlike MLB (and the NHL), the NBA isn't a regional-centric league. For example, a team from LA (Lakers) or Miami (Heat) could get more coverage than a team from New York or Boston. That would never happen in MLB or the NHL.

MLB is all Yankees and Red Sox. The media (ESPN in particular) could care less about West Coast baseball or NL ball. Their coverage of the Dodgers during the early part of the season when the team was rolling and Kemp was beasting was virtually nil.

NHL's coverage is mostly the Original Six teams plus the Canucks, Flyers, Pens, and Caps.

As a Dodgers (MLB) and Kings (NHL) fan, how am I supposed to feel included in the mix?

In the NBA, you have teams from all parts of the country getting love from the media. LA, Miami, New York, Boston, Chicago, OKC, Texas, etc. All over the map.
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Old 11-04-2012, 01:42 AM
Location: Los Angeles, Ca
2,884 posts, read 5,193,709 times
Reputation: 2731
I think baseball is at a real crossroads (from about 1995/97 to 2010/12).

A. You have the baby boomers retiring or dying off in the next 20 years. They drove the sport in the 50's, 60's and 70's. They were a major engine in the popularity of Eddie Mathews, McCovey, Mays, Mantle, Aaron, etc. Football and basketball were underdeveloped. Baseball grabbed, say, 70% market share.

The problem since the 80's....some teams have very loyal fans (i.e. Cubs, Redsox). There are great rivalries....Giants, Dodgers. But I think its becoming more elite and scientific....i.e. you can't just be a kid playing stick ball like you were 30 years ago. Look how scientific pitching has gotten.

I think the danger for the MLB....it turns into something like tennis. Expensive to play, kind of restricted. Technical. How many young black kids play baseball now thinking they'll be a major star? How many 10-14 year old black kids want to be MLB stars? I think it'd dying.

B. The steroid use, record tainting has been terrible. How do you grow a sport if there aren't many good role models for kids to follow? The steroid use is going to set baseball back 10 or 15 years.

I think the NBA could clearly pass baseball in 20 years.

There are still large markets to enter. I.e. San Francisco. I think there's enough wealth there to support 2 solid franchises. Brooklyn is going to be big. Add a few other relocations (Seattle?) and the NBA could cover just about every big market.

International support is expanding. I wouldn't be surprised if there are 3 or 5 top asian players (say in the top 12 or 15) in 10 or 15 years. The top scorers or MVP candidates could have names...Lin, Ming, etc.

Europe and the middle east is a much better farm system than what baseball has. You can always find talent there....the next Kukoc, Nowitzki. That's basically an auxiliary D league.

Personalities and comics are great for this media age....i.e. Dwight Howard, Shaq, D Wade. Basketball is winning in terms of coolness.
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