Measuring Major League Baseball’s Age Gap

By | 2018-11-12T20:35:37+00:00 November 12th, 2018|Research|

See Samba TV’s analysis of viewership trends for each World Series game, and insights on which age groups tuned-in (or out) for the broadcasts. 


The 2018 World Series featured two classic MLB teams as the Red Sox defeated the Dodgers in five games, and also cementing Boston’s legacy by submitting one of the most dominant wire-to-wire seasons in recent baseball history (sorry, Yankees fans).

And while the league is certainly pleased with how the regular season and playoffs panned-out, Samba TV’s analysis identified an underlying trend: a large group of viewers that should be a centerpiece of the league’s target demographic tuned into the World Series at a far lower rate than the US average.

Which age groups watched the World Series?

In recent years our National Pastime has been subjected to criticism on several fronts: slow play, long games, less excitement and lagging interest while other leagues have moved in the opposite direction. Did these factors contribute to a decrease of highly-valuable viewers during this year’s World Series?

Samba TV’s analysis shows that during every 2018 World Series game, viewership for the 25-54 demographic was lower than the US average. However, viewership for the younger demographic (18-24) indexed higher for all World Series games except one which is promising:


Source: Samba TV


Samba TV Analysis: World Series Viewership

Samba TV’s data science wizards measured World Series viewership – defined as a household that tuned-in for at least five cumulative minutes – throughout all five games. Results proved that viewership was roughly equal to the NBA Finals, garnering tune-in from between 10M and 13M of US households across five games.

The World Series drew both casual and hardcore sports fans, viewership was 2.64x and 5.43x larger than the ALCS and NLCS respectively. 

Not surprisingly, the series-winning Game 5 led viewership with 11.7% of US TV households tuning-in to see the Red Sox clinch a championship:

Source: Samba TV

World Series Targeting Strategy

Advertisers looking for opportunities to continue targeting World Series viewers can activate Samba TV’s programmatic audience in their DSP of choice by searching for the following segment taxonomy:

 Samba TV > Premium > TV Tentpoles > MLB World Series

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