I don’t normally share these things with the outside world but in this case, it’s not a secret. Our view numbers are way down with coronavirus going it. Chad’s post about ass beer is the one post keeping view numbers semi-respectable on a daily basis. That’s how bad it is. With no sports on, people aren’t reading about sports. It’s not just hitting us obviously. Bryan Curtis of The Ringer recently wrote a must read article about how sports websites are struggling to keep viewership right now.
I’ll share one of the more eye catching quotes from the article. David Appelman, FanGraphs’ founder and CEO shared some of the problems he’s facing right now. Baseball is getting crushed since the season has been delayed.
“We’ve always grown,” Appelman said. “This is the first time I’ve ever had to do a layoff in 15 years running this.”
“In March, FanGraphs’ traffic usually soars as readers put together their fantasy drafts. Without baseball games, Appelman said, traffic has fallen 60 to 70 percent from its usual levels. “Think weekends in the offseason,” he said, “or maybe even some time like Thanksgiving. But it’s every day.”
FanGraphs is also funded by thousands of readers who buy memberships starting at $20 a year. This is mostly a goodwill gesture, since the site doesn’t put articles behind a paywall. Most recurring members have stayed with FanGraphs. But after March 12, the day Major League Baseball announced it was delaying the season, the site’s new membership sign-ups virtually stopped.
“If baseball starts in July, things can potentially start to ramp back up,” Appelman said. “But from a yearly budget standpoint, I have to essentially find hundreds of thousands of dollars that are not there. That’s the problem. I mean, they’re not there.”
FanGraphs isn’t the only company dealing with this. Basically every sports website is struggling. Curtis lists more than just Fangraphs dealing with this problem. The longer this coronavirus sports hiatus goes on, the more media people that will be laid off. If things continue, there is no doubt media companies will fold.
Here at Vendetta, I promise you the reader that I’m taking this break as an opportunity. Nobody will outwork me. I have an endless number of football posts I can do whether it be about the draft, fantasy, college, or the NFL in general. Come Fall, things at Vendetta will be taken to a new level. I can promise you that. We aren’t going anywhere. We will give you content every day that sports aren’t available so you always have something to read.