Matthias wrote:Trading spitballs about what financial measure is a better metric for the NFL vs MLB is basically a fruitless exercise. You were kvetching earlier in the thread about comparing the broadcast of a best-of-7 championship versus the broadcast of a one-and-done and now you're trying to compare metrics which are riddled with much more in the way of systematic bias.
At the end of the day, whether or not you choose to accept it, football has replaced baseball in the minds of the American public as the preeminent sport. I think the best objective evidence of this is the same-to-same comparison of WS viewership versus SB viewership but there's tons of anecdotal evidence as well. Perhaps this is due to football's parity; perhaps this is due to the nature of the game and changing viewership; I'm not sure. But saying more people went to baseball games than football games last year doesn't really move any argument along.
And neither does saying football has replaced baseball in the minds of Americans as the preeminent sport. That's based almost exclusively on one poll asking people what their favorite sport is. It does not tell how many people follow each sport, or what the intensity of that interest is, or many other things. A more complete discussion--what you seem to regard as spitballing--would recognize numerous other parts of this issue. For example, polls often represent what people like to say rather than how they actually behave. People's behavior, as measured by revenue and attendance, for example, tells another or different part of the story. TV ratings tells another part of the story. Web page hits or fantasy sport participation might tell another part of the story.
I would argue that getting deeper into these types of issuse is the ONLY thing that moves the issue along, rather than debating hypotheticals that have no basis in reality.
No, it's not based off of one poll. It's more based off of my overall impression. What sort of coverage do the respective sports get? How closely do people follow it? How much are the two discussed at the water cooler? How much do people seem to care about the playoffs? How popular are their respective fantasy sports? None of these are definitive and most aren't objective, but it's not just looking at one poll. But by one poll, I assume you mean the Harris poll
that shows a decline in baseball as the self-identified favorite sport from 23% to 14% while football rose from 24% to 33%? I'm familiar with the concept of revealed preferences (I do have an Econ degree from the University of Chicago, the preeminent school for Econ in the country, after all) but I would be curious as to why you think the poll would become more skewed over time. Even if you assume that people don't necessarily tell pollsters what they necessarily believe, you're further assuming that somehow people are changing how they are dealing with that bias.
Lastly, more information does help move the conversation along, but snippets or outtakes without a context can do more to mislead than they can to enlighten. If you want to keep hammering away at the revenue number, you have to make adjustments for the fact that:
a) baseball has increased its number of franchises, thus increasing its overall revenue without any relationship to an increase of passion of existing fans;
b) baseball has underwent an enormous stretch of new ballparks, both blowing up attendance numbers as well as revenue both on the quantity and price axis (as people come to see the new ballpark and as the prices get increased). However, that again does not mean that there is an increased interest in baseball. All it means is that there is increased interest in new ballparks and that baseball is becoming more efficient at extracting maximum value from its top-end consumer by maximizing revenues from premier seats and skyboxes.
c) the increased commodization of ballparks, both in naming rights as well as increased on-field advertising and marketing. Again, this is something that inflates revenue but which may or may not have anything to do with baseball's underlying popularity shifts. It might if baseball had been trying these things before and were unable to obtain anyone interested, but it might not if baseball had simply untapped revenue sources.
All in all, to simply lay out: baseball revenues are up more than football's and baseball attendance is up. Therefore, baseball is more popular than the NFL is a very poor analysis, if you even want to call it such. If you had data on things like web hits or fantasy leagues, which would be more indicative of baseball's mind share among the populous, that would be much more on point.
0-3 to 4-3. Worst choke in the history of baseball. Enough said.