Corey Seager Texas Rangers Game 3 Oct 30, 2023; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Texas Rangers shortstop Corey Seager (5) hits a two run home run against the Arizona Diamondbacks in the third inning in game three of the 2023 World Series at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

The Awful Announcing Wednesday Newsletter is a deep dive into all things sports media with original commentary, highlights from the week, social media buzz, and much more. Below is our “A Block” that leads off the newsletter. You can read this and more by subscribing here. We send a recap of what’s been on AA on Monday and Friday mornings as well as the extended original version on Wednesdays.

As soon as the World Series matchup was set between the Arizona Diamondbacks and Texas Rangers, the immediate focus of the sports media world turned to the reality that the teams involved would likely be involved in one of the least-watched World Series of all-time. Of course, that has turned out to be true. Games 2 and 3 have constituted the two lowest audiences in World Series history, and it’s possible no game in the series may crack 10 million viewers depending on how long it goes. The Diamondbacks-Rangers series is even falling behind pandemic level numbers in 2020 where nearly everything in sports suffered from low viewership.

However, this year was different because many pundits tried to shut down any conversation about ratings or why they should or shouldn’t matter before the series even began. Now that baseball appears to be reaching historic lows, it’s as good a time as any to answer the question – should you care?

To quote Rev. Lovejoy, “short answer yes… with an if, long answer no… with a but.”

If you’re reading this, chances are you care about World Series ratings. Congrats! Welcome to the club! Come on in and have a good time. You’ll find it’s not all stat-geeks and humorless, depressing goblins that just want to cancel and kill everything.

Of course ratings matter. It’s television! If ratings didn’t matter, the NFL wouldn’t rule the sports world and society at large. If ratings didn’t matter, Community would have gotten the run that the Big Bang Theory did. If you care about the overall health, wellness, and vitality of a sport – the ratings of a championship series are a pretty good sign. In the last 40 years, the World Series has lost 72% of its viewers. Meanwhile, the Super Bowl has gained 27% in viewership. The fact that MLB can’t draw for Rangers-Diamondbacks shows that baseball and its partners have to find a better way to make casual fans care about teams that aren’t the Yankees, Red Sox, Dodgers, and Cubs.

Is that a condemnation of the teams and players themselves? No way! There are great players and great stories a plenty. If you’re a sports fan, by all means watch and be enthralled and entertained. It’s just a shame that more aren’t engaged as they could be.

But will World Series ratings have an impact on your life? It’s safe to say that’s a negative. But for 99.99999% of America, the World Series as a whole won’t have an impact either. Nor will any other sporting event. But that doesn’t mean that you’re not allowed to be interested in it or care about it.

The precipitous decline in World Series ratings and lack of interest this year isn’t easy or comfortable to talk about, but sweeping it under the rug and shaming folks for bringing it up isn’t going to do baseball or any sports fan any good. Baseball can chalk it up to cultural changes, more options than ever before, or any number of things. But the long-term trend is very real. And if the sport doesn’t take steps to address it, then it’ll just keep sliding.

Click here to read more and subscribe to the Awful Announcing Newsletter.