Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Why Do Networks Keep Implying Baseball Isn’t Interesting?

Why else would they fill their broadcasts with anything but baseball?

I understand the concept. I really do. They know that the country, and/or broadcast region, is made up of three types of people. Baseball diehards, anti-baseball people, and people in the middle. They make a decision that the die-hards will watch no matter what. They probably assume that they could spit on them once a game, and they’d still watch. Just look at the number of people who complained about the moronic things Joe Morgan or Tim McCarver would say. People would say they had to mute the games, or deal with the constant frustration. But, they were all watching the games. All of them. Every inning. So, why would a network worry about them?

They might not even worry about the anti-baseball section. Why waste time trying to get people to watch if they’ve already decided they aren’t going to?

So, I understand that in order to try and draw in the casual fan, they might try some different things. But, why are they always trying the wrong things? Guests in the booth. Dugout interviews. They all take away from game action. Why show a full screen shot of Justin Verlander in the dugout doing an interview while putting the actual game in a small box in the corner? Doesn’t that imply that the interview is more important than the game? Or, at least, more interesting? Why would they want their viewers to think that? Or, guests to the booth? The regular announcers will talk to some movie star or corporate CEO. All the while, the game is going on unnoticed. Just a passing, so-and-so just grounded out. Back to the new TV show. The network produces will probably say that those types of interruptions draw in the casual fan. But, I have the same question I had when I saw the pierogi races.

Isn’t the best plan to turn the casual fan into a die-hard fan?

Just like the Pirates are fools for marketing and selling pierogies without a Pirates logo anywhere to be seen, the networks are fools for not using this opportunity to draw in more fans.

So, I understand that getting a celebrity into the booth might draw in the casual fan. But, aren’t there celebrities out there who are actual baseball fans? Can’t they bring in someone else to talk about “Arrojo-ness” or a player “making a mockery of his career”? Then, the casual fan might tune in to see the celebrity, but also might be drawn into the game itself. Otherwise, why not just show a Justin Bieber concert full screen, and have the game showing in the corner? Because if fans are just tuning in to hear a half-inning interview with a TV personality, they’re probably not tuning in the next game, when he’s not there. But, if they tune in to hear the celebrity, and that celebrity helps them get hooked on the product, they’ll tune in the next time…and every game after that. Then the networks wouldn’t have to work so hard for the ratings.

Isn’t that what they want?


  1. Stop making sense, dude.
    Selig is still in charge.

  2. Sort of what really confuses me. Pretty sure it was Selig's Brewers who allowed any radio station who wanted to carry their games to do so for free. Knowing that building a fan base was better for the long term product. Which, is why there are Brewers fans all over the Midwest. You'd think that same logic would apply here. Create die-hards, don't cater to the whims of casual fans.

  3. So, so true!

    And it's getting worse... ESPN now needs to interview Verlander not once but twice in a game. NESN heads to commercial breaks with, "coming up after the break, we discuss actors born in _____." How about "After the break we'll DISCUSS WHAT HAPPENS IN THE NEXT INNING!"

    One of my pet peeves, and you hit the nail on the head!


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