BASEBALL NEWS & NOTES: ATTENDANCE SUFFERS AS FALLOUT LINGERS
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).