Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Baseball Primer Newsblog > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Monday, June 30, 2014

Awful Announcing - RETHINKING BASEBALL ON NATIONAL TELEVISION

There’s a stigma attached to writing about baseball’s predicament on television. Mostly, the idea that if you write about it, you’re proclaiming the death of the sport. It’s fair that the people who love it (which includes me) defend it, because as we’ve seen with soccer, sometimes it’s worth defending the thing that you like more than almost anything.

Fact is, however, that Major League Baseball has a national television problem. Sunday Night Baseball is doing fine, but ESPN still has to program MLB action twice a week, and those matches are hardly noticeable, and rarely very highly-rated. A Mets-Cardinals game that followed the USA-Ghana match drew 1.5 million viewers, a huge number for their Monday Night Baseball franchise. After a World Cup match, another Monday night tussle — one of three that week — between a bad Mets team and one of the worst Cardinal teams in a while just doesn’t inspire much feeling.

The Non-Catching Molina (sjs1959) Posted: June 30, 2014 at 03:05 PM | 9 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: broadcasting, espn, fox, mlb_network, tbs, television

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. JJ1986 Posted: June 30, 2014 at 04:43 PM (#4740138)
Sunday Night Baseball is usually the only game on; fans who want to watch baseball will watch it.

National baseball on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays is up against other baseball games; fans who want to watch baseball will usually watch their team or at least pick the game to watch based on teams.

Edit: reading the article, the guy's solution is to play only one game at 7 on Mondays and Thursdays. So we inconvenience the fans of most teams in order to barely bolster the ratings on ESPN and FOX.
   2. danup Posted: June 30, 2014 at 04:56 PM (#4740157)
It seems like a blessing that baseball has remained an enormously popular, primarily regional sport—I'm not sure why people keep trying to reshape it in the NFL's image, as though we're missing something by virtue of Skip Bayless not being very interested.
   3. All Sleepy knows is what's on the internet Posted: June 30, 2014 at 07:28 PM (#4740323)
I wanted to watch that game, but I canceled my cable subscription some time ago in favor of mlb tv, and was blacked out because it was a NATIONAL TELEVISION GAME.

Baseball's NATIONAL TELEVISION PROBLEM from where I'm sitting is that showing one game and only one game screws the hardcore fans over and that's a stupid thing to do. it might be short-term profitable, but it probably doesn't help long-term. At least offer some kind of pay-per-view option for MLB.TV holders and split the revenue with the cable bums.

* (yes, I'm aware that I can watch the game from Ghana or wherever, but it's annoying to set up and I'm usually using my laptop for something else).

   4. Bote Man makes baseball fun again Posted: June 30, 2014 at 07:41 PM (#4740333)
No interest; didn't read. But I'm assuming this is yet another commentator who hasn't heard that "national" television is not the only venue to see out-of-town teams play baseball. There's the Extra Innings package on DirecTV and whatever other outlets offer it. There's MLB.tv that provides video and includes the MLB Gameday radio feeds all via the Internet. Does it even matter to baseball fans what ESPN does?? Aside from Sunday nights, the answer is "no".

The only impact that television networks have on baseball is on Saturdays when Fox Sports prevents most customers from viewing their product unless they fit into very narrowly (and poorly) defined geographic areas.

The biggest problem is that television metrics are still tied to old models that estimate viewership while they eschew the exactness of Internet viewership metrics for reasons that have been explained to me yet still make no f@cking sense.
   5. I am Ted F'ing Williams Posted: July 01, 2014 at 03:26 PM (#4741024)
#4 is 100% correct.
   6. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: July 01, 2014 at 05:04 PM (#4741233)
No interest; didn't read. But I'm assuming this is yet another commentator who hasn't heard that "national" television is not the only venue to see out-of-town teams play baseball. There's the Extra Innings package on DirecTV and whatever other outlets offer it

I also notice that the Saturday FOX game doesn't pre-empt the Extra Innings package for games starting at the same time, the way it used to. If you want to watch the FOX game you can't get the local feeds, but I can live with that.
   7. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: July 01, 2014 at 05:58 PM (#4741376)
Isn't this like drawing conclusions about the public's interest in news, by studying broadcast network nightly news ratings?
   8. aberg Posted: July 01, 2014 at 06:43 PM (#4741491)
I moved to Seattle about six years ago and since then I watch the Twins on mlb.tv or the Mariners on cable almost exclusively. At first, I felt guilty that I was watching less baseball from around the league, but I'm not really watching less baseball, just less baseball in which I have no rooting interest. The last couple of years, the Twins have been out of it early and I have picked up a pet NL team to loosely follow down the stretch (Nats and Pirates, respectively).

I guess my point is that there are many, many ways to follow baseball. More than ever. As technology changes, the way fans consume games change, too, and I don't think that's a major problem.
   9. cardsfanboy Posted: July 01, 2014 at 08:04 PM (#4741544)
I wanted to watch that game, but I canceled my cable subscription some time ago in favor of mlb tv, and was blacked out because it was a NATIONAL TELEVISION GAME.


I would love to see MLB get rid of their ridiculous blackout rules. I understand it's a potential conflict with the networks that broadcast their games, and the cable providers, but it should be workable. (If you are in a blackout zone, you should be able to watch the broadcast with full commercials and have access only to the broadcast that would cover that zone...not perfect of course, but seems fair--that solution would of course ultimately tick off the cable providers, but it's an industry that needs to die anyway)

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Empathy, I Promise You (SBB)
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogOTP 2016 July 25: Card Shark - Bikini trading-card king Brian Wallos expands his empire to politics
(596 - 9:49pm, Jul 26)
Last: Bitter Mouse, Space Tyrant

NewsblogOMNICHATTER 7-26-16
(70 - 9:46pm, Jul 26)
Last: cardsfanboy

NewsblogReflections On A Weekend With The Baseball Gods
(21 - 9:33pm, Jul 26)
Last: cardsfanboy

Newsblog2016 New York City Softball Game
(225 - 9:32pm, Jul 26)
Last: Lassus

NewsblogSABR 46 Convention in Miami
(42 - 9:25pm, Jul 26)
Last: Neal Traven

NewsblogChanges are coming to baseball Hall of Fame's veterans' committees | FOX Sports
(65 - 9:01pm, Jul 26)
Last: cardsfanboy

NewsblogKeep baseball out of the Olympics (and softball too)
(19 - 8:52pm, Jul 26)
Last: cardsfanboy

NewsblogChris Sale talks about White Sox suspension | MLB.com
(47 - 8:51pm, Jul 26)
Last: Omineca Greg

NewsblogLaw: Cubs pay a heavy price for Aroldis Chapman, on and off the field - Keith Law Blog- ESPN
(40 - 8:45pm, Jul 26)
Last: Tin Angel

NewsblogOT: NBA Offseason Thread, July 2016
(829 - 8:44pm, Jul 26)
Last: Fourth True Outcome

NewsblogWill Hall of Fame’s new election rules help former Tigers?
(76 - 8:19pm, Jul 26)
Last: cardsfanboy

NewsblogBaseball can be a cruel game. Just ask Mike Mayers. | Sports on Earth
(10 - 8:13pm, Jul 26)
Last: Lassus

NewsblogPrimer Dugout (and link of the day) 7-26-2016
(14 - 8:09pm, Jul 26)
Last: Eric J can SABER all he wants to

NewsblogBlue Jays reportedly deal for Melvin Upton Jr. | MLB.com
(40 - 7:33pm, Jul 26)
Last: Paul d mobile

NewsblogStatcast: Bradley Jr. hits 101 | MLB.com
(17 - 6:21pm, Jul 26)
Last: Rob_Wood

Page rendered in 0.1452 seconds
47 querie(s) executed