Wake your mother and let the llamas out, the Arbitron midseason baseball radio ratings are out! It'd take a Nate Silver to figure out just how accurate these ratings are; I can't imagine extrapolating an entire market based solely on the listening diaries of a handful of yokels and truck drivers. I'd hate to be employed in an profession that depends on the possibly-inaccurate entertainment choices of Americans, especially the ones in flyover states, for a dying industry like broadcast radio.
But still, there are some telling figures within. To wit:
- On the average, 441,000 people in the New York area are listening to John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman call a Yankees game, versus just 368,500 for the lesser Mets games.
- Over 250,000 people listen to Cubs games while just over 100,000 listen to the White Sox. Once Ozzie Guillen gets fired and joins the radio broadcast booth, though, those numbers will flip-flop.
- Despite having a market smaller than either San Francisco, Philadelphia, or Los Angeles, the Detroit Tigers get a ton of radio listeners, at nearly 200,000 per game. Not bad for a third-place team; maybe everyone thinks Ernie Harwell is still alive.
- The Angels have a radio audience that is, on average, two-thirds larger than that of the Dodgers. Probably because Angels fans can't afford televisions? I dunno.
- Most importantly: during Reds games, a whopping TWENTY-FIVE PERCENT of men between the ages of 25 and 54 in the greater Cincinnati area are listening to baseball on the radio.
Imagine that: one out of every four adult men are listening to Dusty's first-place Redlegs instead of some other radio dreck, like traffic on the twos or some silly, fake Top 40 stunt. With a population of just over 2.2 million, having 116,000 listeners on average is pretty impressive and it's twice the listening rate of the Yankees.