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For countless reasons, the Twins and their fans would have hoped that the path they were on in 2019 and 2020 would have continued in 2021.

Add this to the list: Constant performance makes it easier to evaluate data — in this case, a massive decline in the Twins' TV ratings, as reported last week by Forbes.

But 2021 is complicated. The Twins of course have had a hugely disappointing season on the field, going from spring training World Series aspirations to a sub-.500 record and trade deadline roster makeover. COVID continues to have an impact on all sorts of habits, many of which we might not understand for years and are impossible to quantify in the moment. And potential viewers have less access to Twins games this year because steaming services like Hulu and YouTube TV aren't carrying Bally Sports North like they did in 2019 and 2020.

As such, the "why" of the ratings decline is hard to get at in its entirety. But on Friday's Daily Delivery podcast, I invited Twins President Dave St. Peter on to get his thoughts on those tumbling TV ratings as well as multiple other subjects.

If you don't see the podcast player, tap here to listen.

The Twins averaged 109,000 TV households per game in 2019, and a still-robust 93,000 last season. That number has dipped to 49,000 this season — nearly cut in half from last year and more than cut in half from the last full season two years ago.

"That's a significant decline. ... We have seen historically some major swings up or down," St. Peter said, noting that the team saw a 65% increase in TV ratings in 2019 when the Bomba Squad was leading the Twins to a 101-win season. "The number one driving force in that is the win-loss record, and unfortunately which has been well-documented on this show, the 2021 season had not played out the way we all had thought. ... Clearly the 2021 season has been a challenge on all fronts. There's no getting around that that's really the driving force in terms of interest level in teams. It certainly drives attendance at Target Field, it drives our listenership across our radio network and yes it drives our viewership on Bally Sports North."

What's interesting about the numbers cited by Forbes is that they also show a pattern with teams whose regional sports channel is part of the Bally Sports umbrella. Overall TV viewership is up 2% on regional sports networks across all teams from 2021 vs. 2020 and down 12% compared to 2019. For those on Bally Sports (formerly Fox Sports regional channels), the numbers are an 8% drop compared to 2020 and a 19% drop compared to 2019.

That sort of aggregated data suggests teams that are on Bally Sports channels are taking a hit from those channels not being on numerous streaming platforms.

"My sense of it is that has some impact on that number. I also sense that the Minneapolis-St. Paul DMA (Designated Market Area) probably over-indexes a little bit in terms of streamers compared to some other markets. So we're digging into that trying to better understand it," St. Peter said. "Clearly everybody is incented — leagues, teams, providers, distributors — to figure out a way to deliver both a traditional distribution model but also a streaming model. I can assure you those of us inside the Twins organization are actively at the table trying to figure out how we can do that sooner vs. later."

How frustrating is the idea that part of the decline is because the games simply aren't available to a certain subset of subscribers?

"It is frustrating," St. Peter said. "I think fundamental to our job is to ensure the accessibility of our product. ... Clearly viewing of our games, whether they be at Target Field or at home on your couch, seems to be a pretty core part of the way we promote our brand. When you lack that accessibility, it's a problem."

St. Peter added that he hopes the issue is resolved before the start of the 2022 season and confirmed that the Twins' contract with Bally Sports North ends after the 2023 season.

"Clearly over the long term, I can assure you as contracts expire you're going to 100% see that change," he said.

And if the Twins start winning again in 2022, you will likely see an upward change in the TV viewership regardless of the streaming status.