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Friday, December 07, 2012

Raissman: Even YES confused by Yanks’ ‘budgetary constraints’

Dunno, Bob Lorenz’s SimMan 3Geewhiz act seems the same.

If the Yankees keep tightening the purse strings and it eventually translates into a diminished product, the live gate will suffer. So will YES’ ratings. Even with a successful 2012 on the field, the Yankees averaged a 3.92 rating on YES, down 8.3% from 2011 and the network’s lowest Bombers household rating since 2003. If YES experienced this kind of slippage when the team was good, what happens to the ratings if the team goes south?

It’s reasonable to wonder what the level of concern over all this is for Hal and We Are Family Steinbrenner. They view the Yankees in a more business-like manner than their father did. Their goal may just be to squeeze every nickel out of the franchise and start selling off assets. If you’re in it strictly for the money, and not World Series titles, that blueprint has a major upside for the owners.

Just look at the cash they already pocketed in the YES deal with Fox. And in three years Fox has the option to buy 80% of YES, based on a valuation of $3.8 billion.

What’s next, the team itself? Yankee officials say that won’t happen.

So, maybe when it comes to the product on the field, and its ramifications for YES’ future, it’s Fox suits who should be concerned if Hal Steinbrenner keeps a lock on his pinstriped vault.

“If this so-called fiscal responsibility becomes a permanent policy, Fox has something to be concerned with,” one network executive said. “YES became what it is because it sells winning, superstars and the grand Yankee tradition. If two-thirds of the equation (winning/superstars) disappears, down go the ratings and revenue. The subscriber fees may stay flat, but if the product stinks those fees are not going up.”

Repoz Posted: December 07, 2012 at 06:27 AM | 9 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: business, television, yankees

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   1. Leroy Kincaid Posted: December 07, 2012 at 09:12 AM (#4319296)
Even with a successful 2012 on the field, the Yankees averaged a 3.92 rating on YES, down 8.3% from 2011 and the network’s lowest Bombers household rating since 2003.

Maybe if they featured more of the game and less of the talk-show at least I'd watch more often. And wasn't 2003 when us cable customers went the whole season without Yankee games?
   2. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: December 07, 2012 at 09:31 AM (#4319304)
I really wonder what the TV networks do in the way of market research. These are huge companies presumably with tremendous resources available to them yet they do things; extreme close ups, talk about non-game related items, guests in the booth, etc...that no one seems to like. It seems to me that when I watch old broadcasts the advancements in coverage have been pretty minimal.
   3. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: December 07, 2012 at 10:34 AM (#4319328)
If YES experienced this kind of slippage when the team was good, what happens to the ratings if the team goes south?


I believe the league's position on this issue remains, \"#### you, pay me."
   4. Gamingboy Posted: December 07, 2012 at 01:23 PM (#4319474)
It's so that the Yankees can get below the luxury tax long enough so that they can reset the rate, allowing them to freely spend like they have unlimited money with minimal taxes in the 2014-15 offseason when Verlander, King Felix, Chase Headley, Elvis Andrus, etcetra will be on the market.
   5. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: December 07, 2012 at 07:29 PM (#4319760)
I really wonder what the TV networks do in the way of market research. These are huge companies presumably with tremendous resources available to them yet they do things; extreme close ups, talk about non-game related items, guests in the booth, etc...that no one seems to like. It seems to me that when I watch old broadcasts the advancements in coverage have been pretty minimal.


I've seen a few of these types of reports, and I can share that the research shows that the vast, vast majority of watchers for the RSNs are die-hard fans - there's little casual viewership. So as long as the RSN is the exclusive broadcaster of the game and does a vaguely decent job at it, they can do features and packages as much as they want without jeopardizing anything.
   6. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: December 07, 2012 at 07:31 PM (#4319761)
YES, for instance, would have to do a much, much worse job to drive me away if they're the only Yankees game in town.
   7. Willie Mayspedes Posted: December 07, 2012 at 08:20 PM (#4319763)
Wow if they got those 4 guys for 85 million a year they would have a hell of a team.
   8. Petunia inquires about ponies Posted: December 07, 2012 at 08:23 PM (#4319765)
I've seen a few of these types of reports, and I can share that the research shows that the vast, vast majority of watchers for the RSNs are die-hard fans - there's little casual viewership.

This is interesting because it's the opposite of what I expected the easy answer to Jose's musings to be - that his 'no one seems to like' statement simply showed a selection bias in the data, because anyone likely to discuss their opinions of an RSN's baseball coverage on bbtf.org is likely to be much more interested in the actual baseball (and as much of it as possible) than in any of the ancillary stuff.

That said,

So as long as the RSN is the exclusive broadcaster of the game and does a vaguely decent job at it, they can do features and packages as much as they want without jeopardizing anything.

..is clearly the case as well.
   9. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: December 07, 2012 at 11:25 PM (#4319814)
The bad news about this from the RSN perspective is that there's a predictable ceiling on their viewership. No matter how expensive the productions or innovative the coverage, it's unlikely that many more people will actually watch.

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