A post I wrote last Tuesday received some negative feedback, as yours truly painted a too-rosy picture of Comcast SportsNet’s ratings regarding the Cubs and White Sox – particularly the latter team.
According to an article appearing in Sports Business Journal ranking Major League Baseball’s thirty teams in terms of television ratings on games aired by their regional sports networks during the 2009 season, ratings for the Chicago White Sox for the 2009 season on Comcast SportsNet were up 8 percent from a year ago with a 2.2 Nielsen rating.
But those ratings still trailed those of the Cubs, which had a 4.1 rating, but down 16 percent from a year ago.
Some thought my post was too easy on the White Sox.
Give me a break.
My point was to mention Chicago’s continued support of its baseball teams, even though both were out of contention by late August and the fact that two contending teams in Los Angeles who made the playoffs – the Angels and the Dodgers – were lower than those for Chicago. However, a few pointed out the Cubs beat the White Sox in the ratings once again and some have accused yours truly of ignoring this particular angle.
Well, big deal. Doesn’t everybody know that already? Why should I tell something that’s been told before?
Yours truly has addressed the situation regarding the White Sox before in previous posts over the years, here and here. Unfortunately for the team, they have no one to blame for but themselves, thanks to poor decisions made by management and continued inept marketing of the team. Four years removed from a World Series Championship, the White Sox have become nothing but a punchline for late-night jokes, similar to another second-banana team in the vain of the Los Angeles Clippers.
But the spinsters are always looking for something to blame for low ratings – Hawk Harrelson, the poor production of the broadcasts, etc.
What I pointed out is the ratings for White Sox games – and Cubs games for that matter – still outdrew most first-run and off-network syndicated programming in the Chicago market – which says more about the ailing broadcast syndication business than two second-rate baseball teams. I know its comparing apples to oranges, but still… after all, can anyone explain to me why Comics Unleashed, Martha Stewart and Steve Wilkos are still on the air with their bottom-basement ratings? I’ve seen rating sheets. White Sox baseball have outdrawn Everybody Loves to be a Friend of Earl, or whatever outdated dopey third-rate sitcom junk is airing on Fox-owned WPWR-TV or TBS nowadays.
Sure, Dr. Oz launched successfully this year. as did The Doctors last year. But most new syndicated fare since 2002 – the years hit shows Who Wants To Be A Millionaire and Dr. Phil debuted in syndication – have flopped and flopped badly. The syndication business seems to be stuck in 1972 – with no original ideas or creatively whatsoever, with Oz and The Doctors lone exceptions (then again, the Cubs and White Sox seems to be stuck there as well given their recent decisions.) Yeah, we need more court, game, and talk shows like the White Sox needs another mediocre relief pitcher.
And to those of you who say I’m too soft on the teams, you should have read my Twitter page, where yours truly have been bashing the teams all summer long.
Look, this city’s baseball fans are quite loyal – on both sides of town – and would rather watch bad baseball than bad television programming anytime (yes, even we have standards!)
But even the White Sox doesn’t get credit for that – thanks to those who wants to turn this into another tired Cubs vs. White Sox story – even with both of their seasons over.
In other words, I stand by my story.
And to all of you who complain about the White Sox television broadcasts – there’s always Big Brother or reruns of Everybody Loves to Hate Chris Payne & His House of Kids to watch on another channel.