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.”