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View Full Version : Would you like to see the White Sox have their own network?


tick53
01-18-2010, 10:33 AM
How many Sox fans out there would like to see the team have their own station? That would mean no more jumping around from Comcast to Comcast plus to WCIU and WGN. It would also mean no more sharing a station with the Cubs or wondering where your'e going to pick up the game in case of Bulls or Hawks playoff games are broadcasted. It could also mean live and taped broadcasting from Sox Fest, spring training reports, et cetra. I realize that there's a deal with Comcast but isn't Eddie Einhorn an old TV man who would know how to make it happen? This would be great as long as the satellite services could pick it up.

What do you loyal Sox lovers think?

g0g0
01-18-2010, 10:48 AM
Well, being a loyal Sox fan I would say it's a great idea. But I don't think there is enough of a market for a dedicated Sox network (unfortunately). I would rather see their games broadcast expanded on national networks that the most people have a chance to see.

whitem0nkey
01-18-2010, 10:56 AM
It seems like all the other teams that have them get extra money out of it so why not if it means we can get an extra player or 3.

Lip Man 1
01-18-2010, 11:03 AM
From Bob Grim's interview with WSI: (Grim is the Sox Director of Broadcast Operations) We get into a Sox Network.
-------------------------------------------------
ML: Is there any chance of the Sox pulling the games off WCIU in the future and moving them somewhere else?

BG: “Mark that’s part of the issue, there are no other options. When we put this together a few years ago, WGN went to every other TV station in the market and asked if they would be interested in being a part of it and the only one who said yes was WCIU.”

“And that doesn’t mean that the other stations don’t like the Sox, it’s a matter of business. A network station for example, gets their programming free from ABC, NBC, CBS, or Fox. They sell the advertising and get the profit. To carry the Sox they’d have to bump that programming and to be a part of the Sox Network they have to pay us a fee, so it’s just not practical for them.”

ML: Well that’s been an issue since the Sox originally left WGN before the start of the 1968 season. The Chicago market, unlike New York or Los Angeles for example, just doesn’t have and never had, the number of independent stations that had the flexibility to do something like show a lot of ballgames in prime time. I mean WLS for example isn’t going to take off their prime time fall shows in September to show White Sox games.

BG: “That’s exactly correct. What we hope happens, we’re watching it, is the situation at WGN after the Tribune Company sells them. It’s possible the CW Network just goes away or new ownership wants to go back to the way things used to be at that station, namely showing a lot of games from all sports. We’ve talked to WGN about picking up more Sox games and on nights other than Saturday, but they only have a certain number of times they can bump the CW Network throughout the year so right now they just don’t have the ability to take on more games.

ML: Have you thought about starting a regional type network for example like the St. Louis Cardinals have?

BG: “The issue there is that a lot of the area cable operations just don’t want to take on a channel that’s just going to show ballgames especially if they have to charge a premium rate for it.”

“And the issue we have with a regional radio network is that a lot of the “mom and pop” stations that used to be around and aired Sox games in the past just don’t exist anymore. They’ve all been bought up by national corporations and they simply program via satellite from Dallas or Chicago or someplace. The stations simply don’t want to have to pay someone even though it’s probably not a lot, to run the board and insert commercials between innings and such.”

ML: Well taking it a step further have the Sox ever had any discussions about starting their own TV network a la the Yankees YES Network? I mean Jerry Reinsdorf owns the Sox, he owns the Bulls and he has a good relationship with the Wirtz Family, they both built the United Center. That gives you three major sports and you don’t have to play second fiddle to the Cubs anymore.

BG: “I’ve never personally been involved in any discussions like that but I think it probably has been talked about. Even with those three teams that you mentioned Mark, we’d still have an awful lot of time to fill. You’re talking about 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”

“Right now to be honest the Sox simply don’t have the amount of video, classic games and stuff that could be used to do something like that. We’re getting closer though, major league baseball now requires all teams to tape every game and send the copy to New York where they archive it for us. So as time goes on we’ll be getting more and more material that we could use if something like this happens but now unlike the Yankees, we just don’t have material from the 20’s or 30’s that we could use say as a documentary to help fill time. When Jerry and his group took over in January 1981, they looked and any material that the Sox may have had was gone. No one knows where it went or who got it.”
------------------------------------------------------------

Just an aside on the last part about the missing Sox video / film footage. I've been told from a few people that the Veeck family took all that material when they sold the franchise, thinking that since they owned the team the had the right to claim that material. I have no confirmation as to whether or not that actually happened though.

I also spoke with Rich King of WGN-TV just to see what they have in their library and Rich said in his interview that they have very little in it before 1985 on the Sox.

Lip

tick53
01-18-2010, 11:30 AM
From Bob Grim's interview with WSI: (Grim is the Sox Director of Broadcast Operations) We get into a Sox Network.
-------------------------------------------------
ML: Is there any chance of the Sox pulling the games off WCIU in the future and moving them somewhere else?

BG: “Mark that’s part of the issue, there are no other options. When we put this together a few years ago, WGN went to every other TV station in the market and asked if they would be interested in being a part of it and the only one who said yes was WCIU.”

“And that doesn’t mean that the other stations don’t like the Sox, it’s a matter of business. A network station for example, gets their programming free from ABC, NBC, CBS, or Fox. They sell the advertising and get the profit. To carry the Sox they’d have to bump that programming and to be a part of the Sox Network they have to pay us a fee, so it’s just not practical for them.”

ML: Well that’s been an issue since the Sox originally left WGN before the start of the 1968 season. The Chicago market, unlike New York or Los Angeles for example, just doesn’t have and never had, the number of independent stations that had the flexibility to do something like show a lot of ballgames in prime time. I mean WLS for example isn’t going to take off their prime time fall shows in September to show White Sox games.

BG: “That’s exactly correct. What we hope happens, we’re watching it, is the situation at WGN after the Tribune Company sells them. It’s possible the CW Network just goes away or new ownership wants to go back to the way things used to be at that station, namely showing a lot of games from all sports. We’ve talked to WGN about picking up more Sox games and on nights other than Saturday, but they only have a certain number of times they can bump the CW Network throughout the year so right now they just don’t have the ability to take on more games.

ML: Have you thought about starting a regional type network for example like the St. Louis Cardinals have?

BG: “The issue there is that a lot of the area cable operations just don’t want to take on a channel that’s just going to show ballgames especially if they have to charge a premium rate for it.”

“And the issue we have with a regional radio network is that a lot of the “mom and pop” stations that used to be around and aired Sox games in the past just don’t exist anymore. They’ve all been bought up by national corporations and they simply program via satellite from Dallas or Chicago or someplace. The stations simply don’t want to have to pay someone even though it’s probably not a lot, to run the board and insert commercials between innings and such.”

ML: Well taking it a step further have the Sox ever had any discussions about starting their own TV network a la the Yankees YES Network? I mean Jerry Reinsdorf owns the Sox, he owns the Bulls and he has a good relationship with the Wirtz Family, they both built the United Center. That gives you three major sports and you don’t have to play second fiddle to the Cubs anymore.

BG: “I’ve never personally been involved in any discussions like that but I think it probably has been talked about. Even with those three teams that you mentioned Mark, we’d still have an awful lot of time to fill. You’re talking about 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”

“Right now to be honest the Sox simply don’t have the amount of video, classic games and stuff that could be used to do something like that. We’re getting closer though, major league baseball now requires all teams to tape every game and send the copy to New York where they archive it for us. So as time goes on we’ll be getting more and more material that we could use if something like this happens but now unlike the Yankees, we just don’t have material from the 20’s or 30’s that we could use say as a documentary to help fill time. When Jerry and his group took over in January 1981, they looked and any material that the Sox may have had was gone. No one knows where it went or who got it.”
------------------------------------------------------------

Just an aside on the last part about the missing Sox video / film footage. I've been told from a few people that the Veeck family took all that material when they sold the franchise, thinking that since they owned the team the had the right to claim that material. I have no confirmation as to whether or not that actually happened though.

I also spoke with Rich King of WGN-TV just to see what they have in their library and Rich said in his interview that they have very little in it before 1985 on the Sox.

Lip


Thanks Lip, It answered some of questions.

tick53
01-18-2010, 11:32 AM
Well, being a loyal Sox fan I would say it's a great idea. But I don't think there is enough of a market for a dedicated Sox network (unfortunately). I would rather see their games broadcast expanded on national networks that the most people have a chance to see.

A good idea, gogo..

Madscout
01-18-2010, 11:48 AM
Well, being a loyal Sox fan I would say it's a great idea. But I don't think there is enough of a market for a dedicated Sox network (unfortunately). I would rather see their games broadcast expanded on national networks that the most people have a chance to see.
I don't know why a FSN doesn't show Sox games dedicated. It was so nice when I was in CO to see the Rockies everyday, any day I wanted, on FSN. Furthermore, with WGN's programing, which really sucks, I see no reason why either a dedicated sox network wouldn't survive, or an existing national network with a local station couldn't survive. If I'm Jerry, I give them a big break on a deal, because things like this expand the fan base. If people in Chicago can see a game whenever they want on TV on the same station, that will expand the fan base.

JorgeFabregas
01-18-2010, 11:54 AM
I'm glad that a good chunk of their games are still broadcast over the air.

MARTINMVP
01-18-2010, 12:11 PM
The Sox have that 25% stake in Comcast Sports Net - the partial ownership was the main reason why they left Fox Sports Net Chicago back in 2004 or 05 (whenever that was).

What might be bad is if any of the Sox games are relegated to CLTV (Comcast Sports Net Plus broadcasts). CLTV is no longer available on Comcast basic cable, and that is going to bite if the Sox have to play a game on there.

g0g0
01-18-2010, 02:37 PM
I don't know why a FSN doesn't show Sox games dedicated.

Here in Central IN, FSN shows a ton of St. Louis (Cards/Blues) games which sucks for me.

Moses_Scurry
01-18-2010, 02:40 PM
I'm all for it as long as it's available here in Indy.

DumpJerry
01-18-2010, 03:32 PM
What might be bad is if any of the Sox games are relegated to CLTV (Comcast Sports Net Plus broadcasts). CLTV is no longer available on Comcast basic cable, and that is going to bite if the Sox have to play a game on there.
Not a problem. CLTV is not available on Directv. Comcast + is the next channel over. When there is nothing being broadcast on it, it is an empty channel.

scarsofthumper
01-18-2010, 10:49 PM
Let's just give the Arizona Diamondbacks their own channel while we're at it.

ewokpelts
01-18-2010, 11:52 PM
Sox dont NEED thier own channel. They are partners with the hawks, cubs, and bulls.
And considering that hawks ratings are INSANE right now, sox dont seem too upset to make money off rocky's team

oeo
01-19-2010, 03:42 AM
Not a problem. CLTV is not available on Directv. Comcast + is the next channel over. When there is nothing being broadcast on it, it is an empty channel.

Comcast does not currently have a CSN+ channel. I'd hope they're going to add one. If not, what a load of crap. I had a designated CSN+ channel (that was empty when nothing on) down at Purdue through Comcast, why wouldn't there be one up here?

russ99
01-19-2010, 08:14 AM
That assumption that there isn't a market for a Sox channel is ridiculous. The Sox had more TV viewership than the Cubs for a few years recently.

But there still is a bad taste in the mouth by the fanbase on how they were grifted by the On-TV/Sports Channel debacle. If it's needs to be an extra charge to get a Sox channel, I'd say no dice.

I'd much prefer the Cubs move to their own network and the Sox get more coverage and prime game spots on CSN and Ch9.

Craig Grebeck
01-19-2010, 08:18 AM
That assumption that there isn't a market for a Sox channel is ridiculous. The Sox had more TV viewership than the Cubs for a few years recently.

But there still is a bad taste in the mouth by the fanbase on how they were grifted by the On-TV/Sports Channel debacle. If it's needs to be an extra charge to get a Sox channel, I'd say no dice.

I'd much prefer the Cubs move to their own network and the Sox get more coverage and prime game spots on CSN and Ch9.
[citation needed]

scarsofthumper
01-19-2010, 10:21 AM
Sox dont NEED thier own channel. They are partners with the hawks, cubs, and bulls.
And considering that hawks ratings are INSANE right now, sox dont seem too upset to make money off rocky's team
insane as in getting beat by the bulls?

Lip Man 1
01-19-2010, 10:57 AM
Russ:

I think the issue isn't that there isn't a market for one (although as Bob Grim explained there are some serious issues that would have to be overcome) it's the fact that the Sox don't have the material to fill a channel 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.

Or are you going to simply run 'infomercial' crap when the Sox aren't playing? The Indians channel STO, started out "black" when Cleveland wasn't playing or when they weren't running Indians-themes material...that didn't work so well...now they run infomercials, sports / gambling shows...basically anything they can to fill time.

Even YES which has more material than anybody in baseball can't completely fill that time with nothing but Yankees.

The question is, would fans pay to see infomercials say a third of the programming time? I don't know if they would.

Lip

ewokpelts
01-19-2010, 12:26 PM
Comcast does not currently have a CSN+ channel. I'd hope they're going to add one. If not, what a load of crap. I had a designated CSN+ channel (that was empty when nothing on) down at Purdue through Comcast, why wouldn't there be one up here?comcast cable uses cltv for CSN+ games.

ewokpelts
01-19-2010, 12:27 PM
Russ:

I think the issue isn't that there isn't a market for one (although as Bob Grim explained there are some serious issues that would have to be overcome) it's the fact that the Sox don't have the material to fill a channel 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.

Or are you going to simply run 'infomercial' crap when the Sox aren't playing? The Indians channel STO, started out "black" when Cleveland wasn't playing or when they weren't running Indians-themes material...that didn't work so well...now they run infomercials, sports / gambling shows...basically anything they can to fill time.

Even YES which has more material than anybody in baseball can't completely fill that time with nothing but Yankees.

The question is, would fans pay to see infomercials say a third of the programming time? I don't know if they would.

Lipi think yes also airs devils hockey and nets basketball....

ewokpelts
01-19-2010, 12:28 PM
That assumption that there isn't a market for a Sox channel is ridiculous. The Sox had more TV viewership than the Cubs for a few years recently.

But there still is a bad taste in the mouth by the fanbase on how they were grifted by the On-TV/Sports Channel debacle. If it's needs to be an extra charge to get a Sox channel, I'd say no dice.

I'd much prefer the Cubs move to their own network and the Sox get more coverage and prime game spots on CSN and Ch9.sox arent leaving comcast anytime soon...they CO-OWN the channel. and when you factor in the bulls, reinsdorf has the majority of broadcast time on the channel.

ewokpelts
01-19-2010, 12:30 PM
I don't know why a FSN doesn't show Sox games dedicated. It was so nice when I was in CO to see the Rockies everyday, any day I wanted, on FSN. Furthermore, with WGN's programing, which really sucks, I see no reason why either a dedicated sox network wouldn't survive, or an existing national network with a local station couldn't survive. If I'm Jerry, I give them a big break on a deal, because things like this expand the fan base. If people in Chicago can see a game whenever they want on TV on the same station, that will expand the fan base.btw, the local FSN owns a stake in the Rockies. that's why they have no over the air broadcasts.

"free" tv is an important strategy for almost evey team but the rockies(part owned by a rsn), or the red sox(own half of a VERY profitable rsn).

tick53
01-19-2010, 01:05 PM
Russ:

I think the issue isn't that there isn't a market for one (although as Bob Grim explained there are some serious issues that would have to be overcome) it's the fact that the Sox don't have the material to fill a channel 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.

Or are you going to simply run 'infomercial' crap when the Sox aren't playing? The Indians channel STO, started out "black" when Cleveland wasn't playing or when they weren't running Indians-themes material...that didn't work so well...now they run infomercials, sports / gambling shows...basically anything they can to fill time.

Even YES which has more material than anybody in baseball can't completely fill that time with nothing but Yankees.

The question is, would fans pay to see infomercials say a third of the programming time? I don't know if they would.

Lip

Infomercials are one thing but in todays world, are there not options? Again I'll say, Eddie Einhorn is a TV man. Would it not be possible to acquire the rights to let's say some old television programs such as McHales Navy, Route 66, Chicago Hope, Rawhide or whatever. These are just examples. They could stick the infos in the wee hours of the morning. Where is it carved in stone that a sports channel cannot run different programming during the off-season? The organization also has a treasure trove of old Bulls highlights that could be mixed in.

I'm sure that if it were investigated, that the club could find a way to fill in some time. Keep in mind that I am not an expert in any of these fields but why not get creative?

Tick

SoxFan78
01-19-2010, 01:27 PM
A little off topic but do you think the White Sox will ever have a half hour weekly show just about the team? I know other teams do it, but I wonder why the Sox haven't started their own type of programming.

I would love to see a half hour wrap up/behind the scenes show that airs on CSN every week.

Heck, they already have one called "Orgullo Sox" that used to air on one of the Spanish channels.

Mendoza Line
01-19-2010, 01:29 PM
I'd be curious what they'd do with it during the off-season. My ideal channel would broadcast a different classic game each night when the Sox are not playing. I'd love "where are they now" pieces on former Sox players, and I'd love extensive career retrospectives on players whose numbers are immortalized on the outfield wall.

Maybe unlikely, but I'd never change the channel! (especially if its in HD!)

dickallen15
01-19-2010, 01:35 PM
Comcast does not currently have a CSN+ channel. I'd hope they're going to add one. If not, what a load of crap. I had a designated CSN+ channel (that was empty when nothing on) down at Purdue through Comcast, why wouldn't there be one up here?

Comcast also owns 25% of CSN. The games when they are bumped to + will be on Comcast somewhere. I used to have RCN which was great except the games on + weren't HD. Now with Direct TV, the games on WCIU aren't HD but the + games are. I don't like WCIU.

Lip Man 1
01-19-2010, 02:29 PM
Ewok:

What you say is true but even then YES runs infomercials, concerts, the "greatest moments at Madison Square Garden" crap. They don't have enough material for 24 hours sports of a "local" nature ALL the time.

If they don't, how could the Sox fill the time? (even with the Bulls and Hawks...) that's my general point and I don't know if folks would pay for that.

Lip

Lip Man 1
01-19-2010, 02:34 PM
Tick:

I can only speak for myself but I'd prefer paying for a sports channel that shows sports. "Retro" TV shows are easily available just about everywhere from local stations, a la WGN with their retro Sunday lineup, to channels like Nick at Night, BTV shows Sanford and Son and other African-American themed retro shows for another example. Those channels are literally everywhere.

There's even a network that has a number of stations around the country called the Retro Television Network (RTV) that already does this, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. (Including Rawhide and McHale Navy for example)

I don't know if there would be a market for what you suggest on a "sports" channel.

Lip

WhiteSox5187
01-19-2010, 02:45 PM
[citation needed]

I can't give you an exact date, but I remember reading an article in the Tribune in 2006 that pointed out the Sox had better TV numbers than the Cubs and had a higher attendance (though the Cubs had more tickets sold). It was only for the one year though. But I guess it shows that if the Sox are consistently good and the Cubs are consistently bad, more casual fans might watch the Sox.

ewokpelts
01-19-2010, 02:53 PM
Ewok:

What you say is true but even then YES runs infomercials, concerts, the "greatest moments at Madison Square Garden" crap. They don't have enough material for 24 hours sports of a "local" nature ALL the time.

If they don't, how could the Sox fill the time? (even with the Bulls and Hawks...) that's my general point and I don't know if folks would pay for that.

Lipwell, it's a good thing the sox dont have to worry about that, as they are partners in a station that is ...for the most part, unbiased when it comes to baseball.....obviously, csn is hawks mad right now, and the bear game day coverage still borders on obsessive....

dickallen15
01-19-2010, 03:12 PM
well, it's a good thing the sox dont have to worry about that, as they are partners in a station that is ...for the most part, unbiased when it comes to baseball.....obviously, csn is hawks mad right now, and the bear game day coverage still borders on obsessive....

What is really nice about the Hawks being so good is it does benefit the Sox as 25% owners of CSN. The ratings of other shows like Tribune Live and the such have more than doubled in the past year. Whatever extra revenue that ultimately brings, the Sox get a cut of that.

ewokpelts
01-19-2010, 04:07 PM
What is really nice about the Hawks being so good is it does benefit the Sox as 25% owners of CSN. The ratings of other shows like Tribune Live and the such have more than doubled in the past year. Whatever extra revenue that ultimately brings, the Sox get a cut of that.
hence the sox dont care if they have to share the channel.....

TDog
01-19-2010, 05:46 PM
In California's Central Valley, south of Sacramento, Comcast has a station that focuses on the Giants and a station that focuses on the A's. Each team broadcasts some games (not many) on local television, but for the most part, there is a Giants station and a separate A's station on Comcast cable.

Lip Man 1
01-19-2010, 07:11 PM
White Sox 5187:

The column you were referring to was written by Ed Sherman when he was with the Tribune. It came out after the 2006 season ended and reported the Sox had for the first time in decades (since the early 1970's) higher TV ratings than the Cubs in Chicago.

Lip

asindc
01-19-2010, 07:37 PM
White Sox 5187:

The column you were referring to was written by Ed Sherman when he was with the Tribune. It came out after the 2006 season ended and reported the Sox had for the first time in decades (since the early 1970's) higher TV ratings than the Cubs in Chicago.

Lip

Winning cures all...

oeo
01-20-2010, 12:41 AM
comcast cable uses cltv for CSN+ games.

As it was mentioned earlier, CLTV is no longer on the lineup for basic cable.

Winning cures all...

It also coincided with the Cubs being one of the worst teams in baseball.

ComiskeyBrewer
01-20-2010, 03:24 AM
It also coincided with the Cubs being one of the worst teams in baseball.

To be fair, that had never hurt them in the ratings before.

asindc
01-20-2010, 08:09 AM
To be fair, that had never hurt them in the ratings before.

Exactly. Our beloved Sox's popularity has always been directly related to success on the field, just the opposite of what some baseball clubs experience. The more successful the Sox are, the less it matters what other teams do.