SBD/August 18, 2011/Franchises

Padres' Attendance Up At Petco Park, But TV Ratings Have Dropped

Padres' attendance up despite team being in last place in NL West
The Padres have drawn 1,586,825 fans to Petco Park through 62 home games this season, “about 50,000 more than they drew a year ago at this time, when they were leading” the NL West, according to Nick Canepa of the SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE. But the team’s 55-70 record this season “shows up with the TV audience, where Channel 4 San Diego’s average rating stands at 3.4.” It is the "lowest since Channel 4 first got the rights" in '97, and down from 5.5 a year ago. Channel 4’s deal with the team expires at the end of this season, and “Fox is thought to be the leader in the clubhouse, but no one’s saying.” Padres Vice Chair & CEO Jeff Moorad: “We’re still in discussions.” Moorad added, “We have not heard a word about ratings; not a single group of those interested in our next broadcasting (rights) has raised the subject. I’m not personally concerned about ratings. I’m focused on support at the ballpark, which has been consistent.” Canepa notes this season’s attendance figures “probably are a byproduct of last season’s success, and people purchased 2011 season tickets knowing they would get playoff priority in 2010.” Next year will give “a more accurate portrait, but, fact is, overall attendance and ratings are down from 2007.” The Padres’ philosophy is “to build from within and not go nuts in free agency, which doesn’t always work.” And it “doesn’t help when fans see local products such as Adrian Gonzalez jump off for big-market greenery.” Canepa: “It tells them that, even if the Moorad Plan works, and the young players develop, they’re going to leave once they get too good for the Padres’ coin purse” (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 8/18).
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