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BASEBALL NEWS & NOTES: ATTENDANCE SUFFERS AS FALLOUT LINGERS
Published May 25, 1995
Through the first month of MLB's shortened season, attendance and national TV ratings have both taken a hit following the work stoppage. According to AP, attendance is down 25%, TV ratings have dipped even further, and baseball teams will probably lose at least $300M collectively. On attendance, team officials say that group sales, which "usually takes place in the offseason, were hurt most by the strike." Attendance is down for 25 of the 28 teams, with only the Red Sox, Tigers, and Mets showing increases. ESPN's first 14 games had a 1.5 cable rating, down 32% from the first 14 games of '94 (Ronald Blum, AP/WASHINGTON TIMES, 5/25). MLB's marketing effort is examined in USA TODAY. UMass Prof. of Sports Studies Bill Sutton says during the strike, players "were viewed as businessman. It is going to take a while to get over that" (USA TODAY, 5/25). UNION CHALLENGES: In New York, Murray Chass reports on Rob Mahay and Ron Rightnowar, the first players on the MLBPA's "so- called 'scab list'" to play in the majors. Chass: "Does the union accept them as members? Does it have to accept them as members? Donald Fehr, the union leader, isn't saying." Chass sees the decision as "critical for the union's credibility and integrity" (N.Y. TIMES, 5/25).