Jose Altuve (Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports)
Here we go again. Yes, the on field performance of the Houston Astros is not doing much to turn the tables, but this is now the second straight year that we have to hear about no one watching the team.
It is the headlines that are the problem. The fact that they gain national traction does not make it any better. But they also aren’t completely false.
The problem, is that headlines are bad. And they are not going away anytime soon.
There is one simple fact here; no one is watching the Astros on television. If you stick just to the headlines, then yes, it is no one. But that is not entirely accurate. Some people are watching Houston play. It is not many, but there are a few variables to consider.
The main one, is that not that many people can. And the measuring system used is less than accurate. Plus, the game in question was in the afternoon on a Monday.
Per the Nielsen Ratings, no one watched the Astros’ 9-1 loss to the Angels. But we know that is not true. In reality all we know is that of the 579 people whose televisions were on during the time of the game, none of them were viewing it.
Yes, this is a problem. However, the bigger issue is that there are only about 500,000 fans in the Houston area that are actually able to watch the Astros should they choose to do so.
This is a problem that is not going away, and it will only continue to get worse. Per Nielsen’s math and measurements, they only estimated that about 11,500 people watched the Astros game the following evening against Toronto.
I can’t speak to the actual validity of these numbers, but I also can’t imagine them being too far off. The issue though, is that these are the statistics that everyone is seeing. I can’t imagine that advertisers, the network’s lifeline, are all too happy with the viewership.
Something needs to change. And fast.
Perhaps more importantly, the Astros need the cash influx they are owed from Comcast to improve the team to make them watchable.
"The Astros say they are owed more than $27 million in unpaid rights fees by CSN Houston, and the Rockets are owed more than $36 million."