I had this idea for a post… I started researching it, found that the facts didn’t support my premise and that was the end of that.
…But some of the facts I found along the way were interesting, so I figured I’d share them anyway.
The basis of everything in this post comes from the list of TV Markets for the 2014/15 season, as defined by Nielsen Media Research – the people who track TV ratings. They break the entire country into Direct Market Areas (DMA’s), and those DMA’s are ranked by the number of “TV Homes” in that designated market.
Please note that the figures I’m throwing at you apply only to the United States. I’m sure the results would differ if I could only find the correlating Canadian numbers.
Milwaukee (#35) and Cincinnati (#36) are the two smallest TV markets in the Majors… no big surprise there.
What was surprising was that there are eleven TV markets which are larger than Milwaukee and Cincy and do not have Major League baseball… Some of them don’t even have a team above A-ball.
Orlando/Daytona Beach/Melbourne is the 18th largest TV market in the U.S. and the largest U.S. TV market without a Major League team. Orlando does not have a team at all, but there are a couple of Florida State League teams within that DMA, most notably Daytona and Melbourne .
Sacramento/Stockton/Modesto (#20), Charlotte (#24), Raleigh/Durham (#25), Indianapolis (#27), Nashville (#29), Columbus, OH (#32) and Salt Lake City (#34) have AAA teams.
Hartford/New Haven (#30) and San Antonio (#33) have AA teams.
There isn’t an affiliated team in the city of Portland, OR (#23), but the Hillsboro Hops of the short-season Northwest League play in a Portland suburb.
If you wanted to add teams to the New York market in order to “dilute” the number of TV homes per team down to Cincy levels (876,000 TV Homes per team), you’d have to add six more teams to the Mets and Yankees. Similarly, you’d have to add 4 teams to Los Angeles and 2 teams to Chicago.
And completely unrelated to what I’d been researching, but it’s always my favorite bit of trivia when it comes to DMA’s… The five smallest television markets in the United States are:
Helena, Montana (27,850 TV homes); Juneau, Alaska (25,480); Alpena, Michigan (16,580); North Platte, Nebraska (14,830)… and at the very bottom, with 4,330 TV homes, four-thousandths of one percent of the US TV market… Give it up for Glendive, Montana!