Interesting story from today's St. Louis Post-Dispatch, where Dan Caesar brings the news that Cardinals' TV ratings are plummeting. 

Ratings have dipped 19% since the 2010 season ... 19%!!!!!

There's more
from the articleAnd with the announcer shuffle in full force this year, FSM’s rating swooned to 7.7 despite the team coming off its epic run and finish last year. In fact, only one season in the last decade drew a worse rating, and it wasn’t lower by much — 7.5 in 2007, when the team finished six games under .500.
The caveat to this story is the fact that ratings for Cards telecasts hit similar levels in 2008 with the common denominator being the Summer Olympics. 

However, the Summer Olympics have nothing to do with the fact that Rick Horton is not a play-by-play guy nor does it have anything to do with the fact that a three-man rotation between Dan, Al and Rick pretty much sucks. 

Voice your opinion in the comments section.

In the meantime, here is what people said on STL Today.

It's obviously a small sample size, but if FS Midwest wants to deny that there is a fundamental problem with their broadcasters in the eyes (and ears) of Cardinals fans and viewers, the network is kidding itself, swimming countless laps in a river of denial.

Here's what people really said. This isn't Internet Tough Guy with an alias, mind you. These are real people with real complaints, criticisms and concerns.


Dump Hrabosky. He's the worst broadcaster EVER.

Saying that not knowing whether you're going to get dan, al, or ricky on the cards telecast would make you not the game is like saying that not knowing whether you're going to get a donkey, a hyena, or a parrot on the telecast would make you not watch the game. a small number of people may have a preference for one over the other, but for most viewers, it matters little; one's just as bad as the other. speaking for myself, I find the mute button to be invaluable when it comes to watching cards telecasts.

If there wasn't a bazillion second delay from radio to HD tv, nobody would ever listen to the audio of the television broadcast. I hope I never again have to hear Al say "Well, if you've been a major league ballplayer.

Dan and Al's constant bickering with each other has made it hard to listen to them two, go with some new blood.

If the announcers would focus on what's happening on the field instead of themselves, more viewers might tune in instead of out. The Dodgers have one man in the booth: Vin Scully, the best. No banter, no lame attempts at humor, no preening, no reminiscing over forgotten on-field exploits.

As a rabid Cardinal fan all my life and having grown up listening to broadcast Hall of Fame legends like Jack Buck and Harry Caray, Dan Kelley, Bob Starr and several others who have graced our airwaves over the last 50 years of my existence, the Cardinal organization is first class in every aspect I can think of with the exception of the television broadcast crew that you have assembled on FSM. Now, having said that, I will say that I have heard Dan McLaughlin do other broadcasts on a national level and he sticks to announcing the game and he is strong fundamentally in the booth. HOWEVER, you pair him with Al ( the human sleeping pill ) Hrabosky and the two of them become such incessant bores with their seemingly endless drivel and babbling and droning on and on about almost everything BUT the game.

Well, if McLaughlin and Hrabosky and Hayes are part of any mix, then it's mute button. These three are so inmature, there presentation seems to be directed to junior high viewers!

WOW I didn't realize that as many people disliked that as me. These guys are the worse with Al leading the pack.

Thank goodness I can stop the action on my DVR then restart it when my MLB on my iphone catches up so I can listen to the radio broadcast.

John and Mike are a whole lot more entertaining.

At least if I have to listen to FSM I feel lucky when it's Dan and Ricky. I don't have to listen to the Al-ism's from the know it all.

Ricky Horton has got to go... Hiis playing days are long gone. Nobody cares. That is all he wants to talk. We watch the game & listen to Mike Shannon. That is how bad he is. Hrobosky is not much better. Probably a simple fix to boost ratings.

It's like the three stooges, just not as funny as the real ones.

Anyone else ever watch MLB Network? There you get snippets of local broadcasts from around the country. Here's what I've observed based on that:

- NO ONE else has untrained broadcasters / former athletes doing play by play.

- No other broadcasters talk as much. Stop filling every second with noise and stop reading every single graphic that comes on the screen. We see it. That's good enough.

- The broadcast is SO dumbed down. If we're the #BFIB (thanks Joe Strauss) do we need to be taught the game?

There has been many times I mute the tv and listen to radio.In the past few years all those broadcasting the games flat stink.



The broadcasters don't bring in the ratings, but they can turn away ratings. FS Midwest's best bet would be to let Dan McLaughlin do the games by himself. Bring in Jim Hayes as a secondary voice to provide insight into players, their stories, and a little color/humor. 

It will be better than anything we've seen and heard over the past three seasons.

My two cents.

Tweet @patrickimig.

UPDATE: A friend pointed out the following info after the Internet police detained me on charges of sensationalism. It's worth noting:

· Ratings have fallen 19 percent in two seasons – but that’s compared to the all-time high ratings mark set in 2010. This 7.7 is comparable to several seasons last decade –  2001, 2002, 2007, 2008 and 2009.

· Cards ratings declined 14 percent this year. Nine MLB teams had bigger decreases than the Cardinals.

· The Cardinals still ranked third in MLB in local market TV ratings.

·  In 2011, Cardinals games averaged a 9.0. Second-best in MLB. Same broadcast team as 2012.


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