The Nielsen ratings for the first half of the 2016 season are out, and just like you'd expect, there isn't a lot of sunshine for the Angels in this report. Now, they've never exactly been a ratings juggernaut to begin with, but the already-low ratings continue to slip into some dark territory.
The ratings released today are for the first half of the season, going from April 3 to June 30, and it puts the Angels up against the other MLB teams, but specifically zoning in on their own regional sports networks and how they stack up with their local audiences, primarily in prime time (7pm to 11pm, Mon-Sun). The only team not ranked is Toronto, because they're out of the states and not tracked by Nielsen. Take a gander:
|Market||RSN||2015 household rating||2016 household Rating||000s||All TV rank||Cable rank|
|1||Kansas City||FS KC||12.69||13.26||119||1||1|
|2||St. Louis||FS Midwest||10.17||8.14||99||1||1|
|3||Pittsburgh||ROOT Sports Pittsburgh||7.61||7.77||90||1||1|
|9||San Francisco (Giants)||CSN Bay Area||4.86||4.72||117||1||1|
|11||Chicago (Cubs)||CSN Chicago||3.12||4.81||167||2||1|
|17||San Diego||FS San Diego||4.86||3.09||33||3||1|
|23||New York (Yankees)||YES||2.77||2.55||188||5||2|
|26||Los Angeles (Angels)||FS West||1.52||1.27||70||9||2|
|27||Chicago (White Sox)||CSN Chicago||0.8||1.24||43||9||4|
|28||Los Angeles (Dodgers)||SportsNet LA||0.81||1.23||67||10||3|
|29||San Francisco (Oakland A's)||CSN California||1.15||0.88||22||10||4|
That's a lot of info to digest, but the main gist is that the Angels share of eyeballs watching their regional sports network, in primetime, is on the lower end of the league. For their part, though, they're at least on the higher end of actual viewers (around 70k per primetime game) but when compared apples to apples against other markets like this, it gets pretty ho-hum.
It's really nothing new that the Angels are in the bottom third of Nielsen's ratings, because as long as I've sort of followed these types of posts (which has basically been since I started coming on Halos Heaven), they've always wound up in the same tier. Their share may dip down a bit on consecutive years, but they still end up at about the same spot as they started.
The one facet of the team's business operations that I've been intrigued by this year has been their commercials run on FSW. Forget all these confusing numbers and ratings for a second, and let's just use the old eye test. We've all watched a bunch of games this year, yeah? Have you ever noticed how many PSAs (public service announcements) they run during a regular ol' weeknight baseball game? It's pretty weird.
I've seen games where one commercial break will literally have 2 or 3 PSAs from the Ad Council in there, and it's got to be a sign that things aren't going so well in their sales department this season. I had a project from a month or two ago where I was going to record some Angels games, as well as some Dodgers games, then count up the amount of PSAs shown and compare it with a Dodgers broadcast. This idea sort of fell by the wayside, but there may be something there.
Gone are the days of Howard's Appliances ads run amok, or the infamous mini sirloin burgers spot that we saw too many damn times, and instead we get a bunch of ads telling us to go enjoy the woods or to go to college or some crap like that.
Are you worried, Arte? You should be. It's one thing to be stuck with laughable shares of your TV market, even in winning seasons, but if you can't sell decent ad space on top of everything else, then you're going to find things get a dicey. Arte may know billboards, but considering the bad Nielsen ratings coupled with their inability to sell airtime for this lousy squad tells me one thing: dude should stick to bus stop ads.
So here we are...a last place team that touts strong attendance even though games are often barely attended, on top of having stinky television ratings and a lack of advertisers buying airtime. There's an alarm going off, but Arte says "It's fine. This is fine."