This is a partial transcript from Your World with Neil Cavuto, July 11, 2003, that was edited for clarity. Click here for complete access to all of Neil Cavuto's CEO interviews.
Watch Your World w/Cavuto weekdays at 4 p.m. and 1 a.m. ET.
BRENDA BUTTNER, GUEST HOST: Well, this year, it actually means something. The winner of Major League Baseball’s All-Star game will secure home-field advantage for the World Series (search).
Advertising dollars are up as well this year, from $300,000 last year to $325,000 for a 30-second spot.
But will any of that help stop those declining ratings?
Let’s ask Major League Baseball’s Tim Brosnan who joins us now from Chicago.
Thanks for joining us.
TIM BROSNAN, MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL: Thanks for having me, Brenda.
BUTTNER: Well, has it been tough to sell those spots?
BROSNAN: Well, I don’t think so. We don’t actually sell the spots. Your News Corp. compatriots in the sports department sell them, and the market tells us that they’ve sold quite well, and, as you mentioned, they’ve sold at increased price. So I guess the answer to your question is not as tough as it’s been in the past.
BUTTNER: How do you expect the home-field advantage to change that, to change things? Viewership has been declining quite steadily since the mid ‘80s and attendance as well.
BROSNAN: The answer is it’s already impacted. I mean the fact that the game counts this time, that it will determine home-field advantage for the World Series has gotten people talking about the game. It’s gotten Madison Avenue to take notice that there’s something at stake in the game that hasn’t been at stake before.
And, if Madison Avenue is any indicator of how the general public goes, we think the rest of the public will follow. A buzz discussion, debate, et cetera, about the All-Star game has really reached a nice pitch this week, and we expect to get a ratings bounce from where we have been in the last couple of years.
BUTTNER: There have been some who have suggested that this kind of is a slap in the face of the players because, you know, they’ve been motivated all along, they didn’t need to have a home-field advantage, that they’ve been trying all along.
BROSNAN: Well, you know, I could see how someone would suggest that, and, certainly, Major League Baseball’s greatest asset is its players. So there would never be anything done by Major League Baseball to slap its players in the face.
But the fact of the matter is it was an exhibition in years past, and sometimes, as great a set of competitors that our players were, people had other interests that may have detracted them from the game or caused them to shorten their stay in the game, and now with home-field advantage, which is an enormous, enormous competitive advantage, to the home tame in the World Series -- 72 percent of the clubs that have had home-field advantage in the last 25 years have won the World Series.
So these guys are competitors at their core, they all believe they’re going to win, and we think then it follows that they’re going to fight hard for eventual home-field advantage.
BUTTNER: OK. All right. We’ll all be watching Tuesday on Fox!
BUTTNER: Thanks so much for joining us.
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