Good news for soccer, bad news for baseball

By Paul Kennedy

If you were a fan of the Red Sox or Cardinals -- two teams with huge and loyal followings that extend far into neighboring states -- you were probably glued to your television watching the World Series that ended Wednesday night.

But the Wall Street Journal reports that the demographics of World Series viewing reveal a huge problem for baseball going forward. According to Nielsen, the average age of a World Series viewer this year was 54.4 years old, and children ages 6 to 17 represented just 4.3 percent of the average audience for the ALCS and NLCS this year.

On the other hand, children ages 6 to 17 make up 11 percent of the audience for NBCSN's coverage of the English Premier League. That percentage is larger than even that for the NBA conference finals (9.4 percent) or the NHL conference finals (9 percent).

MLB's counter: in the era of fragmented cable viewing and multiple digital viewing options, prime-time network viewing among children is way down to about 5 percent of the audience with a median age in the 50s.

RSL GETS NEW JERSEY SPONSOR. LifeVantage, whose corporate headquarters are roughly a mile from Rio Tinto Stadium, will become Real Salt Lake's jersey sponsor starting in 2014, replacing XANGO, which has been the club's shirt sponsor since 2006 -- the first jersey sponsorship deal in MLS history.

LifeVantage is a publically traded company that deals mainly in nutritional supplements and skin-care products.

“We’re thrilled to partner with LifeVantage for our jersey-front sponsorship,” Real Salt Lake president Bill Manning said in a club statement. “LifeVantage is showing tremendous commitment to Real Salt Lake with this partnership. We’re excited to welcome them to what we call ‘the RSL Family’ and we relish the opportunity to continue to grow the club and the sport with such a vibrant locally based and growing company by our side.”

EL CLASICO SOCIAL MEDIA HIT. El Clasico between Barcelona and Real Madrid, broadcast on beIN Sport, was the No. 1 program in Nielsen SocialGuide’s Twitter TV Rankings for Saturday.

The Barcelona-Real Madrid beat out Game 3 of the World Series that ended with a walk-off obstruction call. El Clasico received 816,810 total tweets to finish in front of the Red Sox-Cardinals game in second place with 482,230 tweets.

Nielsen SocialGuide, the leading Twitter TV measurement platform, captures and analyzes conversations for all U.S. TV programs across 247 channels.

UNIVISION DEPORTES IN LEAD. In the battle of Spanish-language sports cable networks, Univision Deportes has taken the lead over Fox Deportes and ESPN Deportes in third-quarter prime-time viewing with 38 of the top 50 sports telecasts.

Third-Quarter Viewing:
UDN: 52,000 Adults, 18-49; 83,000 P2+
FOXD: 31,000 Adults, 18-49; 55,000 P2+
ESPND: 31,000 Adults, 18-49; 54,000 P2+
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2 comments about "Good news for soccer, bad news for baseball".
  1. Glenn Liguori, October 31, 2013 at 9:55 p.m.

    While the WSJ demographics report is a nice positive for soccer, and I'm happy to see the push toward soccer, there is a serious bias in the numbers. How many 6-17 year old's are up at the late hours of the ALCS and NLCS? On the other hand, with NBCSN airing on Saturday/Sunday mornings, there's a group of viewers more apt to turn on the game. Let's recognize what the numbers really tell us.

  2. Footballer Forever, November 1, 2013 at 4:36 p.m.

    This is just an observation. When bad "soccer" news appear, all the soccer haters come out of the woodwork to say "told you so!". When good news come out, they disappear, but then the soccer supporters can be so pessimistic that can't take positive news for what it is. The way I understood this article is that the demographics for soccer is of a younger population and baseball's is not. As simple as that, yet people tend to over analyze things and make it more complex than what it should be. Any good "soccer" news is diminished, yet the soccer haters glow when bad soccer news appear. Go figure!

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