World Baseball Classic Set Records For Attendance, Ratings
The World Baseball Classic's popularity was clear from its attendance, including a crowd of 51,565 for the championship game Wednesday to watch the United States beat Puerto Rico 8-0. But the fourth edition of the event also set records for TV ratings, streaming and sales of merchandise, Major League Baseball said Thursday.
• The 2017 WBC drew a record 1,086,720, a 23-percent increase from 2013, which drew 885,212. The championship crowd of 51,565 was the second-largest crowd in tournament history.
• Wednesday's game attracted 3.1 million viewers on MLB Network, ESPN Deportes and a Spanish simulcast on ESPN2, the largest U.S. audience ever for a WBC game.
• Viewership on MLB Network was up 32 percent from 2013.
• The championship game drew 2.3 million on MLB Network alone, its second-largest viewing audience behind just Game Two of the 2016 NLDS between the Cubs and Giants.
• In Puerto Rico, 70 percent of TVs were tuned into the WBC championship game.
MLB, Cuba Reach Signing Agreement
The new system essentially turns Cuban signings into a hybrid between the Mexican League and Asian professional leagues.
Digital and Streaming
• WBC video views across MLB.com and other platforms was up 59 percent rom 2013, with more than three million views.
• Sales of WBC merchandise at MLBShop.com rose more than 50 percent rom 2013.
• Concession sales in Tokyo were up 25 percent from 2013 in Fukuoka, which had the previous record.
• Concession sales for the second round in San Diego were up 20 percent from 2009 in the same location.