Baseball Thinking

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

NESN ratings continue to slide

Tony Massarotti of the Boston Globe and The Sports Hub recently wrote an article stating that New Englander's, as well as Red Sox management, have become complacent. He also asked New England to root for the Yankees in the World Series. LOL. Why would any true New Englander root for the Yankees? In any situation? When you are done reading this, check out the comments section to his article. Anyway, I wanted to express my views as to why NESN ratings are down and if there is real complacency as far as the Red Sox go.

NESN ratings are down for a few reasons. One, their format is very stale. Their pre-scripted pregame/postgame shows can be recited, word by word, by any Red Sox fan. They also have no real, live shows, like CNNSE. Every single word is scripted and stale. There is no off-the-cuff commentary and I find that boring. Every fan knows what will be discussed at 6:38 of any pre-game show. If Tom Caron has any skill and real historic baseball knowledge, I am not aware of it. I do know he is an excellent reader, though.

Two, we have become complacent as a Nation. The Sox are on the wrong side of the bell curve at this point. Real fans are shut out from games due to prices, wine and cheese, pink and corporate. Just try nailing down a Sox Pax when tickets go on sale. I used to have a fair chance of getting opening day tickets 7 or 8 years ago. I had a solid chance ten years ago and longer. Now, there are fewer tickets for me due to corporate big wigs and I can never, ever get them the first day they go on sale. Our ticket chances become reduced to lotteries and eBay. A real turn-off.

The initial attraction for the newer fans (corporate, pink, cheese, wine, and most girls) was the personality of the team. The Sox have lacked any type of specific personality over the past 2-3 years, which has reduced the initial attraction for the newbie’s, thereby reducing interest and the NESN audience. The Sox have become a team of well-behaved professionals with no visible character. NESN, a reflection and part of the Red Sox, has grown very stale. Add to the fact that the Celtics and Bruins are back playing winning sports dictates that the consumer dollar is spread out over 4 sports instead of 2. No longer is this just a Red Sox and Patriots town. If ratings are down for the Sox, then they are up for someone else.

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