ESPN's John Skipper: "We are doing hockey highlights."
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02-26-2013, 02:06 AM
Join Date: Oct 2007
Originally Posted by
On average, 9% of Detroit area homes tuned in to Tigers games last year. just 3.5% of Detroit area homes tuned in to the average Red Wings game in 2011-12.
Can we stop with the baseball is dying crap? It's rolling in money, TV contracts, local TV ratings and attendance is going up again.
Amen! However, I do think the non-stop emphasis on Yankees vs. Red Sox all the time (which even ESPN's Michael Wilbon has lamented on air many, many times), is backfiring, and perhaps might even be hurting the sport. It's pretty pathetic that a major-market team like the SF Giants, who have won two of the last three championships, gets not even a tenth of the coverage the Red Sox do. Both are major market with large fan-bases, but only one is championship-caliber while the other is a disgrace to professional athletics and all that is good & holy. Yet, ESPN revolves around the Sox and their endless drama. Call me crazy, but I don't think that's a great business decision right there, and I do seriously believe most viewers are bored with it, and most American baseball fans are sick to death of hearing about the Red Sox (and, to a much lesser extent, Yankees) day in and day out. Hell, most people here in the Boston area are sick of the Red Sox at this point: Local TV ratings are down, the (phony) sellout streak is coming to an end (part owner Larry Luccihino said as much during a recent press conference), the radio outlet - WEEI, once a juggernaut of all sports radio in America - just fired their program director/afternoon host and is well behind their competitor (who carries the Bruins & Patriots) ratings-wise, and I don't see anywhere near the amount of Red Sox merchandise on folks while out and about that I once did.
As for ESPN's coverage of hockey, I'm not going to come down quite as hard on them as some others. They do have Barry Melrose and Steve Levy, they do show highlights, PTI will insert hockey discussions here and there. So, it could be much worse. But, yeah, they could stand to broaden their horizons a bit, and I do think the constant emphasis on Kobe-Lebron, Sox-Yankees, etc. is starting to backfire in the court of public opinion. And with NBC, CBS, and Fox all having either launched or about to launch their own sports networks, maybe now is the time ESPN starts making some adjustments, before the others have any chance in earnest of putting a dent into them.
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