A third of baseball fans say they’ll watch and attend fewer games with replacement players, and 28 percent expect their interest to remain diminished even when the strike ends, according to an Associated Press poll.
The 34 percent who said they would attend fewer games was up six points from an AP poll taken in early December. Thirty-eight percent say they will watch fewer games on television, a 10-point increase.
Baseball is a business and can scarcely afford to lose a third of its customers. But even more threatening for the economics of the game is the poll’s finding that younger, higher-income viewers, who are most sought by advertisers, are also most likely to be turning baseball off.
Almost half those with household incomes above $50,000 and 45 percent of those under 45 said they’ll watch fewer games if the season begins April 2 with replacement players, as expected.