After a shortened season in 2020 and a labor conflict between MLB and the union from 2021 to 2022, the league has had their fair share of ups and downs in recent seasons.
This lack of stability has evidently affected TV ratings and overall interest in the game.
Now that we are finally enjoying a relatively normal offseason and spring training, it seems like fans are slowly becoming interested in the game again.
Here are some very interesting numbers from an ESPN source.
⚾️ ESPN had its most-watched #springtraining since 2016
🆙Up 29% vs 2021 (No spring training games on ESPN in 2022)
🧢It also featured the most-watched ESPN spring training games for several individual teams:
✔️Astros since 2009
✔️Mets since 2012
✔️Cardinals since 2014
— Ben Cafardo (@Ben_ESPN) March 6, 2023
When there was a strike in 1994-1995, the league reported decreased viewership.
It’s normal: people often lose interest when a lockout or a strike happens.
However, baseball had the steroids era to help them put people in front of their TVs for several years.
That helped bring back overall interest in the game.
At the moment, steroids are banned and there will be no such thing, but there is a myriad of young stars helping make the game more exciting.
Ronald Acuna Jr., Fernando Tatis Jr., Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Bobby Witt Jr., Juan Soto, Adley Rutschman, Julio Rodriguez, Aaron Judge, and many more put on a show every time they play.
Slowly, but surely, the game is getting back where it used to be.
In addition to that, the league is implementing a set of rules to make the flow of the game faster and more active.
Pitchers won’t take as much time as they did between pitches, there will be more action on the basepaths with the enlarged bases, and shifting will be limited starting in 2023.
MLB wants to captivate younger audiences, and it seems to be succeeding in its objective so far.NEXT: Juan Soto Makes A Bold Claim About His Padres