On Fox, Hall of Fame game draws 1.4 million more viewers than Field of Dreams game

New York Yankees v. Chicago White Sox
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As it turns out, Canton comes a lot closer to ratings heaven than Iowa.

Last Thursday, Fox televised the first NFL preseason game of the 2021 season. This Thursday, Fox televised the much-hyped Field of Dreams baseball game. And the football game drew a much larger audience.

Fox had an average audience of 7.3 million for Cowboys-Steelers in a football game that ultimately means nothing. Seven days later, Fox drew 5.9 million for the Yankees and the White Sox in a regular-season baseball game played in an iconic location.

That’s not a knock on baseball; it’s just a statement of numbers-don’t-lie fact. It was indeed the highest-rated regular-season baseball game in 16 years. But when that new high-water mark still falls 1.4 million viewers behind a football games replete with backups, it demonstrates that, when it comes to football, if you build it, a lot more people will come.

43 responses to “On Fox, Hall of Fame game draws 1.4 million more viewers than Field of Dreams game

  1. Football is king for numerous reasons.

    1. Faster action

    2. Greater parity via salary cap and revenue sharing

    3. Only 17 games so each game means something vs 160+ games

    If MLB wants to compete, speed up action, allow salary cap and revenue sharing, and greatly decrease amount of games

  2. In fairness, it was the first sight of football in 6 months, while baseball has been on TV all the time since April.

  3. The problem with baseball is that not many people understand how the game actually works. Oh it’s easy to see a batter hit home run or a piture strike about a batter out.

    I think about football, is it much easier to understand. You’ve got three attempts, ignoring fourth down, to gain the silly yellow line that NBC installed for us. Touchdowns are easier understand, and so are turnovers.

    The thing we need to understand as a nation is that football is simple, and made for the simple minded.
    Baseball takes much more wisdom to actually follow.

    Sorry Troy Aikman

  4. Couldn’t care less about baseball but the field of dreams game was cool….for about 15 minutes, then I realized its still boring ass baseball.

  5. Or maybe it was the very first football game to kick off the 2021 season versus just another baseball game in the midst of a 162 game schedule.

  6. If major league teams play 162 regular season games and the worst ones win more than 50, they’re all pretty meaningless, Gen X nostalgia notwithstanding.

  7. Anyone surprised? Yeah, me neither. Yawn. Football is king in America for over 50 years now. I didn’t even hear about the Field of Dreams game until after it was over, and only by indirect reference, and that was on my local sports radio, which I listen to daily! MLB gotta wake up. Something wrong with that.

  8. If we have learned nothing else in the last few years its that the number of people who do something has no bearing on the quality of what is being done.

  9. Top 3 sports in the 1950’s were Baseball, Boxing and Horse Racing. Baseball was King for a half century

    Dec 28th 1958

    Giants vs Colts NFL Championship game decided in overtime.

    The NFL was now King and has only grown more dominant. They dominate year round. Pre-season-Regular season-playoffs-Super Bowl-Combine-Draft. If they fall from that perch, it will not be in the lifetime of anyone reading this post.

  10. As a White Sox fan I found the game amazing. Unfortunately we live in a go go society where people no longer have an patience. I get why some people don’t like baseball, but it is a really great sport. Certainly better than basketball.

  11. I didn’t see the field of dreams game but I saw the highlights and it looked like it was an amazing game also the Kevin Costner intro was pretty cool too.

  12. Networks shows the same teams, mainly East Coast. The big market teams with all the money. MLB is broken because they don’t have revenue sharing no avoiding that fact any longer. MLB has too many fan bases paying MLB prices when they are minor league MLB teams for the wealthy MLB teams. I won’t watch the New York,Boston, LA Dodgers, Cubs.

  13. Even the British who invented baseball dropped it for cricket around two centuries ago.

  14. I did not know the Hall of Fame game had been played. Who played? Nothing was mentioned on Bay Area sports talk either.
    The Field of Dreams game had lots of chatter on the radio, at work and around town.
    A pre season football game is like watching tryouts for the XFL.

  15. Football is the most popular because of fantasy.
    It’s easily the most accessible to it.

    End of story.

  16. Here in Pittsburgh, where we don’t have a MLB team, (oh, is that what you call the Pirates?) I’m sure the rating ratio was way in favor of football.

    Plus the six Yinzer related (adding Jimbo Covert from the Beaver Valley) and it was a family reunion.

  17. Some morons claim it’s popular because of gambling and others because of fantasy last i looked
    MLB and NHL have both of those things a lot more games ,
    Those people are looking for excuses that and or they are clueless .

  18. streetyson says:
    August 14, 2021 at 9:48 am
    Even the British who invented baseball dropped it for cricket around two centuries ago.
    I see by the down-votes some of you are ignorant of history – the earliest US baseball rulebook is in fact an extact page-for-page copy from a pre-existing set in a 19th century book of British sports rule-sets. Various forms of the game existed in Britain going back centuries (the term “base ball” itself was also coined there) and the close variant known as “rounders” is still popularly played by English children. But as an adults game it all mostly gave way to cricket during the 18th century.

  19. I would have expected, more from football. Your assessment is incorrect.

    If you want to validate the ratings, yopu must express them against the mean viewership for all similar games.

    What percentage was greater against the mean viewership for each; did the baseball game top the viewership of other nationally televised games? Did it do better than Fox Saturday night and ESPN Sunday night?

    what was the advertising rate against the distributed audience for each game?

    did the NFL game generated as much revenue vis a vis its average?

    so, no, you are not reporting the facts, just one data point.

    and no, it’s mnot a trend if there is no precc3ndent to the games in question.

  20. The HOF game wasn’t just just the first preseason game. It was Cowboys vs Steelers on national TV, which guarantees a huge audience. It also included presentations of a large class of HOF inductees, along with personal interviews with many of them. To characterize this as a regular NFL preseason game beating an iconic MLB game is not accurate.

  21. Football: Salary cap [league parity]
    Baseball: No salary cap [Yankees, Red Sox, Dodgers, Yankees, Red Sox, Dodgers, etc]

  22. People go to baseball games for the atmosphere. People go to football for the game itself. If you like to be laid back, enjoy the day with friends and strangers, baseball is quite good. If you like an intense competitive game spending time with friends (and strangers), then football is better…..

  23. I am a Cowboys fan and I had no interest in watching preseason football. That Yankees White Sox game was amazing, and everything about it was amazing. Just another example of the dummying of America. Just because more people watched it, has nothing to do with the game. Just short attention span America, which actually baseball has more of a flow to it. the constant penalties of football is annoying and making it harder to watch. Baseball has the best post-season of any sport

  24. love baseball, but unless it’s the playoffs or a critical or maybe a rivalry game etc., I’m pretty much satisfied just watching the highlights and reading the box scores versus watching the entire game, while an NFL game has something to watch on every play.

  25. Baseball is dull only to dull minds. Who expects NFL fans to like baseball? Just listen to George Carlin–he explains the violent, militaristic nature of football compared to the pastoral qualities of baseball. Baseball has a long season–one NFL game is equivalent to 10 MLB games, so comparing one telecast means nothing. Baseball dwarfs the NFL in live attendance. Saying baseball’s live attendance means the NFL fails is as silly as this comparison, but football writers always make inane statements because that’s part of the rabid, money grubbing nature of the NFL. I’ll take a baseball game in a cornfield every time. It’s the smart game, not the macho, slobbering game of football.

  26. NFL has been smart because their games are accessible with over the air broadcasts (NBC, CBS and FOX and occasionally ABC). With baseball there is maybe one game (on FOX) a week on Saturdays, otherwise these games are segmented to some cable station (or internet). The Cubs and Braves created a following by putting their games on nationally on their cable channels WGN and TBS, but with all the cable cutting, that model peaked in 2000. Instead of building new fans, baseball is just barely maintaining this fanbase.

  27. Why would anyone who lives in a small or mid-sized market care about a sport that allows their team to be consistently at such a disadvantage? Baseball is a sport for people in large markets who are involved year after year.

  28. I tuned out using the field of dream’s for money makes me sick anys news on joe Jackson or buck weaver’s band being over turned.

  29. If not for the NFL’s wokeness of late, maybe the HOF game’s ratings would’ve been higher.

  30. Packers 76:
    Yes all sports have fantasy.
    How many do you know play fantasy golf vs fantasy football?

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