Pirates viewership plummets by 34% during coronavirus-shortened season

Pirates viewership plummets by 34% during coronavirus-shortened season

PITTSBURGH — Major League Baseball saw a nice uptick in viewership this season, but the same cannot be said for the Pirates.

According to Maury Brown at Forbes, viewership for Pirates games this season dropped 34%, tied with the Angels for the the third largest decrease. The only two that were worse were the Mariners (36%) and Red Sox (54%).

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As a whole, MLB saw a 4% increase, despite its television ratings actually being down. That’s because Nielsen is now tracking digital viewership as well as television, which takes into account those who may have cut the cord on cable but still watch through a streaming service. That’s partly why viewership between ages 18-34 saw a 53% increase this year. Overall, every demographic Forbes tracked saw an increase.

Not so for the Pirates, who just completed their first year of a new deal with AT&T SportsNet. The terms of that deal, which was inked last October, were never released.

Verizon announced this week that its contract with AT&T SportsNet Pittsburgh expired, and that the two sides have yet to reach an agreement. The station is also the home of the Penguins, who are expected to have their season start in December of January.

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