Turns out, fans like it when baseball teams spend money on elite players. The Philadelphia Phillies and San Diego Padres have seen strong television rating increases this season after signing Bryce Harper and Manny Machado during the offseason, according to Sports Business Journal.
The Padres have seen a massive boost in viewers during the first half of the season. Ratings are up 81 percent compared to last year. Though the team is just 47-52, Padres fans have a lot to be excited about. On top of Machado, the team also has young stars like Fernando Tatis Jr. and Chris Paddack putting up breakout seasons.
Harper and the Phillies are seeing a 20 percent boost in the ratings thus far. The Phillies started the season hot, posting a 33-24 record through May. The team has gone 19-24 since, which could spell lower second-half ratings if they can’t turn things around.
Eleven other U.S. based Major League Baseball teams have seen bumps in ratings this season. The Milwaukee Brewers are a major standout in that area. After seeing a huge boost last season, Brewers rating have shot up again by 23 percent.
On the opposite end, ratings have dropped for some surprising teams. Both the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox have seen their viewership numbers decrease through the first half.
The Texas Rangers and San Francisco Giants have also been hit hard in the ratings. Both teams are surprisingly in the playoff hunt at the end of July. The Giants are .500. The Rangers are a game over.
Making major offseason additions isn’t the only way to increase ratings. Despite missing out on Harper and Machado, the Chicago White Sox have seen their ratings increase. That’s tied with the Minnesota Twins for the second-highest ratings increase this season.
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