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View Full Version : Red Sox ownership says to old and poor "No Soup For You"


Fenway
01-29-2006, 02:00 PM
I as a rule despise Dan Shaughnessy but this morning in the Boston Sunday Globe he went after Red Sox ownership after they announced there will be no more local free television of Red Sox games. ( trust me if Boston pulls this off it will start happening elsewhere ) When this was first announced 2 weeks ago the Red Sox tried to claim it was because WSBK is transmitted into Canada and they were unable to blackout the signal outside Boston. ( it is true that WSBK does not have the power to stop the satellite feed )

http://www.boston.com/sports/baseball/redsox/articles/2006/01/29/for_unlucky_ones_sox_out_of_sight/?page=full (http://www.boston.com/sports/baseball/redsox/articles/2006/01/29/for_unlucky_ones_sox_out_of_sight/?page=full)
By Dan Shaughnessy, Globe columnist | January 29, 2006
It was an announcement that barely got anyone's attention. A couple of weeks back, the Red Sox and NESN declared the end of their Friday night relationship with Channel 38, committing all locally televised Red Sox games to pay cable.

But what has enraged callers to WEEI and the message boards is how one of the Red Sox owners was quoted.

Tom Werner, one of the Red Sox owners -- and the man who oversees the television arm of the organization -- said, ''We don't want to exclude people who can't afford cable, but we don't want to give free tickets to people, either. We have to balance that concern. Ninety-five percent of people in Boston have cable."

Reminded that this decision might have a significant impact in minority communities, Werner said, ''We have outreach programs. We want to bring more Hispanics and African-Americans to Fenway Park. And remember, there are still a handful of [Fox] games over the air."

''I don't want you to portray me as insensitive," Werner continued. ''I am sensitive. But this is a business decision. And in our desire to remain competitive, we support Sean's decision. We think it's the right thing to do. We'll review the decision in a few years and see if it makes sense."


OK so what is the big deal? Well for people on a fixed income ( especially elders ) it means they are shut out completly and that is simply wrong. According to Scarborough Research, there are 589,635 adults in the Boston market (Eastern Massachusetts from the Cape to Southern New Hampshire and as far west as Worcester) without cable or satellite television. More than 20 percent of the non-cable population is nonwhite and 51.8 percent is made up of households earning less than $50,000. Nineteen percent of the non-cable/satellite people are over 65.

This quote breaks my heart.

Eileen O'Brien, director of the Elders Living at Home Program at Boston Medical Center, said, ''I know people who really look forward to that Friday night game. One of my neighbors is a man who's 75 years old and that's the only way he gets to watch the Red Sox. He won't be able to see any games.
''This is obviously cutting off some of the people who are their oldest and most dedicated fans. We tend to think that everybody has cable but if your fixed income is 500 bucks a month, that's still out of your reach. And some of those people, in some ways, need the Red Sox more than anybody."

I know some people who live in senior housing and because the buildings are concrete the only way to even get the broadcast stations is to pay Comcast $9 a month. Many of these people simply can not afford basic cable which is now at $52.

Selig and MLB insure that all playoff games on ESPN are televised in the home market on "free tv". Is it not asking too much to have him order teams to provide a "limited" number of games on free tv?

I am really angry about this, even Steinbrenner wouldn't go this low.

SOXintheBURGH
01-29-2006, 02:06 PM
Who said life was fair? Where's that written?

Fenway
01-29-2006, 02:15 PM
Who said life was fair? Where's that written?

It isn't

But there are a number of hospitals in the Boston area that don't offer NESN to patients because the Red Sox demand so much per room and won't budge. ( they also don't offer ESPN for the same reason ) I know for a fact that Comcast gives the signal free of charge to Northwestern Memorial in Chicago so patients can enjoy games.

Keep in mind the Red Sox were getting very well paid for those Friday Night games ( $375,000 a game )

DumpJerry
01-29-2006, 02:35 PM
:dollarbill:
Ahhhh......they are learning.......makes a grown man smile.

They must be trying to turn Boston into a Cubs' town. When the Sox did this in 1981, it turned Chicago (temporarily) into a Cubs' town......

SouthSide_HitMen
01-29-2006, 04:21 PM
:dollarbill:
Ahhhh......they are learning.......makes a grown man smile.

They must be trying to turn Boston into a Cubs' town. When the Sox did this in 1981, it turned Chicago (temporarily) into a Cubs' town......

It sounds like a National League team should consider returning to Beantown.

I do not purchase cable out of principle. There are several companies I will not give $0.01 to (Disney, Viacom and others). If I was allowed to purchase channels a la carte I would buy the MLB Extra Innings and NHL Centre Ice package and maybe a few other stations. Cable companies are not allowed to offer this due to government dictates.

This should lower demand for the Red Sox in the future and eventually hurt their bottom line - just as it hurt the assclown pictured above.

I want Mags back
01-29-2006, 05:56 PM
I know for a fact that Comcast gives the signal free of charge to Northwestern Memorial in Chicago so patients can enjoy games.



Comcast-Focused on Community

man i hate those comercials

1951Campbell
01-29-2006, 09:31 PM
Well, in the end the public relations hit may force them to change their minds, and it's never good business to alienate fans.

FarWestChicago
01-29-2006, 09:48 PM
Well, in the end the public relations hit may force them to change their minds, and it's never good business to alienate fans.You mean Eastern time zone fans, right? :wink:

1951Campbell
01-29-2006, 09:56 PM
You mean Eastern time zone fans, right? :wink:

Yeah, you know, the ones that show up before the game, as opposed to the middle of the 3rd inning. :wink:

SOXintheBURGH
01-29-2006, 10:05 PM
Yeah, you know, the ones that show up before the game, as opposed to the middle of the 3rd inning. :wink:

Bam.

Us ESTers need to stick together, and use our bias. :cool:
:cheers:

FarWestChicago
01-29-2006, 10:05 PM
Yeah, you know, the ones that show up before the game, as opposed to the middle of the 3rd inning. :wink:Ahem, that's LaLaLand. I've never lived there. :D:

FarWestChicago
01-29-2006, 10:06 PM
Bam.

Us ESTers need to stick together, and use our bias. :cool:
:cheers:You already have your own network, ESPN. What more do you want? :redneck

1951Campbell
01-29-2006, 10:17 PM
Ahem, that's LaLaLand. I've never lived there. :D:

Ah, I love the NoCal/SoCal stuff! (My in-laws live in San Francisco and I'm out there all the time.)

FarWestChicago
01-29-2006, 10:46 PM
Ah, I love the NoCal/SoCal stuff! (My in-laws live in San Francisco and I'm out there all the time.)It has always been one the the best things about the place, other than the weather. :cool:

ode to veeck
01-29-2006, 11:46 PM
While Boston's tradition of free TV baseball is perhaps not as strong as Chicago's was when Eddie and Jerry bought the White Sox and totally bungled their PR relations with a well established fan base by moving the team to pay TV only in the early years of their ownership, the Red Sox fan base will respond in a strong negative way, nonetheless. Dumb and dember, especially given the Sox existence proof of the negative impact of such a move. Even the most loyal fans don't take kindly to slaps in the face.

Fenway
01-30-2006, 06:43 AM
While Boston's tradition of free TV baseball is perhaps not as strong as Chicago's was when Eddie and Jerry bought the White Sox and totally bungled their PR relations with a well established fan base by moving the team to pay TV only in the early years of their ownership, the Red Sox fan base will respond in a strong negative way, nonetheless. Dumb and dember, especially given the Sox existence proof of the negative impact of such a move. Even the most loyal fans don't take kindly to slaps in the face.

Up until 1984 Boston used to get about 110 games a year on free TV, then NESN came along and the free number dropped to 75 with the rest being on NESN at 9.95 a month.

One thing I take issue with. The Red Sox claim 95% have cable/satellite in the market. I think the figure is closer to 85%.