North America's Major League Baseball (MLB) has announced that its 2023 regular season saw a large growth in attendance and record streaming numbers.
More than 70 million attendees were notched across MLB’s 2,430 regular season fixtures, an increase of 9.6% on the nearly 64.5 million recorded in the 2022 campaign.
This made for an average attendance per game increase of 9.1% over 2022, which is by percentage the largest per-game attendance increase in 30 years, although this does not include the seasons impacted by Covid-19.
In addition to this, the league’s digital streaming service, MLB.tv, saw record streaming figures.
More than 12.7 billion minutes of MLB content was streamed on MLB.tv, breaking the previous record of 11.7 billion that was set in 2022. Furthermore, the total number of users of MLB.tv increased by 14% year-on-year.
The average attendance increase of 9.1% per game hasn’t been seen since the 1993 season when MLB expanded from 26 to 28 clubs. MLB cites other changes in the dynamics of the league this season as the reason behind the expanded attendance and viewership.
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Players have been scoring more runs with the larger bases designed to encourage this, and games have been shorter and more frenetic, owing to the 15/20-second pitching timer.
The average length of games has been the shortest in 30 years while runs per game increased over the previous season and the number of bases stolen is the second-highest tally in 100 years of the league.
The success in drawing eyes this season has not deterred MLB from continuing to drive for commercial partnerships.
This week (October 2), the league renewed its tie-up with photography agency Getty Images, allowing it to continue its role as the competition's official photographic partner.
Getty will provide images from every MLB regular season and postseason game exclusively on gettyimages.com.