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A-Rod's Final Game Was Estimated To Be The Least-Watched MLB Telecast Ever On A Major Broadcast Network

Tampa Bay Rays v New York Yankees

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This was pretty much my reaction to reading this. At first, you think there’s no way that can actually be right. And then you remember how many baseball fans actually despise A-Rod.

The decision to counterprogram the Olympics with Alex Rodriguez‘ final game did not pay off for the FOX broadcast network.

Friday’s Rays/Yankees Major League Baseball game earned a 0.7 final rating and 1.0 million viewers on FOX Friday night, almost certainly the lowest rated and least-watched MLB telecast ever on an over-the-air network.

With the caveat that there is no complete, publicly available record of MLB ratings on broadcast television, it is highly unlikely that any game in the TV ratings era has posted lower numbers on one of the “Big Four” networks. The lowest figures prior to Friday were a 0.8 and 1.1 million for Yankees/Red Sox on FOX in September 2014, Derek Jeter‘s penultimate game.

I figured that the game wouldn’t have a ton of national appeal with A-Rod being an all-time great, who really wasn’t loved by anybody. I don’t think Seattle Mariners fans claim A-Rod as being one of their own since he left after the 2000 season. If they did, I certainly didn’t see anything like that. I highly doubt Texas Rangers fans give a shit about him. Then there’s Yankee fans, who I guess had to learn to love him.

Such an odd relationship there. He was already coming in with a little bit of tension, because he was clearly the better shortstop over Derek Jeter, so that must’ve been a weird dynamic at first. He didn’t do a ton to endear himself to the fan base over the years, outside of the 2009 World Series championship. It was what he was doing away from the field that caused the friction between he and the fans.

I’d be really interested to see a poll that could somehow reflect how Yankee fans truly feel about A-Rod. I honestly have no idea how those percentages would break down. They might’ve graduated to “liking” him towards the end, and somewhat appreciating him for what he is and has been, but I don’t think a tear was shed in the bleachers at Yankee Stadium that night. And maybe it’s because of that lack of affection that the ratings were so bad. Hardly anybody outside of New York was sad to see him go, and then I kind of question how many people IN New York were sad to see him go. These record-low ratings almost answer that question for me.