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NESN - Is That All There Is?

Discussion in 'Our Errors are Mistakes: The Media Forum' started by MakeMineMoxie, Sep 14, 2018.

  1. MakeMineMoxie

    MakeMineMoxie Member SoSH Member

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    I thought I would start a catch-all thread for all things NESN. My only exposure is Red Sox games via MLB Extra Innings so I can't comment on the rest of their programming but based on clips of their other shows, the rest of the network seems pretty weak. Charlie Moore appears to be especially annoying.

    Is my impression correct? If so, why? They have a 6-state market & 4 good to great teams to report on so I would think their ratings would justify spending money to make it a strong product.

    I've gotten the impression from other posters that NESN is notoriously cheap with salaries & maybe this extends to their programming budgets, too.
     
  2. Scott Cooper's Grand Slam

    Scott Cooper's Grand Slam Member SoSH Member

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    The schedule is available online: https://nesn.com/tv-schedule/2018/9/14/

    I don't see the incentive for them to create a strong product, really. Regional sports networks have a built-in audience. I'd love to hear from someone in sports marketing or TV programming, but i can't imagine that Yankeeography or Red Sox Stories are effective in building the brand, building the myth, and creating/retaining new fans as things like:

    • The team winning/having memorable players
    • The games being available
    • Going to a game with friends and family
    • Talking about sports with friends and family
    NESN is particularly lucky because Red Sox fans are a special breed of die hard. I would subscribe to NESN if they showed nothing but Sox games, with the occassional pre-and-postgame coverage, and went dark for the rest of the year. (I'm not a Bs fan).

    I never got the appeal of SportsDesk (I guess they're calling it NESN Sports Update now?) "SportsCenter with a regional focus" wasn't enough for me when Dan Patrick and Stuart Scott where such compelling personalities on the national scene. Nowadays SportsCenter is unwatchable (also: inefficient compared to the internet, and non-compelling compared to SoSH).

    My dad watches hours of programming on Comcast Sports Network, but I can't stand it. After hearing Fred Smerlas or Tom Curran talk about the matchup against Jacksonville endlessly and rather superficially, I barely have the patience to watch it.

    There's a market for good sports coverage -- ITP, The Athletic, take your pick --- but I haven't seen anyone translate good sports coverage and analysis to TV -- with the notable exception of Slappy talking hitting on Fox.
     
  3. John Marzano Olympic Hero

    John Marzano Olympic Hero has fancy plans, and pants to match Dope

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    Chad Finn tweeted about this a few weeks ago, but basically NESN has no money to make "interesting" shows. I know that YES does Yankeeographies and other Yankee-centric shows, that NESN doesn't. It would be cool if they did stuff like that for the Sox and the Bruins or if they revisited older important games, but they don't because those shows are expensive. When they do do special shows (like Sox Prospects), it's usually pretty good.

    So we're stuck with dreck like Charlie Moore (who sucks), Dinning Playbook (which is a pale imitation of Phantom Gourmet) and Dirty Water TV (which is dull, dumb and cheesy).

    Unlike SCGS, for the most part I like NESN SportsDesk. I think that their hosts are pretty good, but some of their experts are weak as hell -- I'm looking you Jermaine Wiggins. But, if he comes on, I switch it over to MLB Network and it's fine.

    I would bet that NESN has a goldmine of content that its sitting on, but they either don't have the manpower, money or imagination to make it work. Or maybe they don't care, IDK. I mean, I watch NESN practically every night, so why do they need to suck me in more?
     
  4. joe dokes

    joe dokes Member SoSH Member

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    The answer to the thread title is "yes," that's pretty much all there is. I watch the Sox. I watch the Bruins. The only other thing I watch is Behind the B. It's not terribly insightful, but its less than 30 minutes every few weeks and sometimes gives a glimpse of interesting or amusing stuff. I would absolutely watch something similar about the Sox.
     
  5. Mugsy's Jock

    Mugsy's Jock Longtime Member Lifetime Member Gold Supporter SoSH Member

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    The VP Programming job has been open as NESN for a while -- I applied because I'm an experienced and successful TV programmer and am knowledgeable and passionate about all the local laundry. [Well, except BC... screw those guys.]. That said I knew my application was a long shot because I don't have any formal live sports production experience to speak of, and understandably that's very high on the list of must-haves. Had a nice conversation with HR, but that's as far as it got.

    I'm shocked the job remains open -- it's been at least 4-5 months -- as you'd think it was one of the most desirable sports programming jobs there could be.

    I did have a list of programming ideas that I brought to the table, and in some cases had creative partnership ideas to bring down costs. Interview shows, stand-up shows, historical documentaries, movie reviews (current and historical), fantasy sports shows (across a variety of sports), gambling shows, game shows -- all done from perspective of a Boston sports fan so they'd fit with the flow and advertiser demand. Plus some unique broadcasting ideas that would probably be more appropriate for a PawSox broadcast than a major league one. But was not to be...

    [I'm saving my idea of Eck and Pedro as a buddy-cop show.]
     
  6. MakeMineMoxie

    MakeMineMoxie Member SoSH Member

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    And Remy as their grouchy, exasperated boss!

    I wonder if the position has been open because of low pay. Cheapness seems to be a recurring theme.
     
  7. Red(s)HawksFan

    Red(s)HawksFan Member SoSH Member

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    The shame of NESN is they have all sorts of archives of both Sox and Bruins games...going back 30 years. You'd think they could fill 2-4 hours a day just replaying old games, even if they just gave them the old "Sox/Bruins in 2" treatment. Guess the informercials pay better.
     
  8. bosox79

    bosox79 Member SoSH Member

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    Doesn't Charlie Moore literally pay to be on NESN?
     
  9. drbretto

    drbretto guidence counselor SoSH Member

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    Yes.
     
  10. cmac24

    cmac24 Member SoSH Member

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    Would there be rights issues showing the games? Infomercials might pay better if they have to pony up to MLB for express written consent. Would they have to pay broadcasters for the rights to use their voices?
     
  11. Lose Remerswaal

    Lose Remerswaal Leaves after the 8th inning Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    I think for his main show, but his production company also does Behind the B, which I doubt he pays NESN to carry
     
  12. timlinin8th

    timlinin8th Member SoSH Member

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    The one thing I have never understood is why during hockey season NESN doesn't broadcast any Providence games. With baseball the big club plays every night, not so in hockey - LeafsTV broadcasts a bunch of Marlies games so I don't think it would necessarily conflict with the AHL's streaming option (which is kind of expensive).
     
  13. MakeMineMoxie

    MakeMineMoxie Member SoSH Member

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    NESN really wouldn't have to make too many changes to really improving the broadcast of the Red Sox games. They finally figured out how to keep the score bug on the screen no matter which camera they are using and I do like the pitch zone with all the pitches in the AB on the screen where you can see them.

    But merciful God in Heaven, do we have to be subjected to the Johnny Gomes Experience? And does DOB (and Orsillo before him) have to bombard us with promos? Sometimes I'll watch other feeds & no one I've seen crams promos down your throat like NESN does.

    The best thing they have going are Remy & Eck, either singularly or together and I hesitate to criticize DOB too much because I don't know how much of his commentary is scripted by NESN and how much is his own.
     
  14. Red(s)HawksFan

    Red(s)HawksFan Member SoSH Member

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    NESN and the Red Sox own the broadcasts. They paid the announcers already. I don't think it would cost them anything to re-broadcast the games. Where they'd lose money is taking up broadcast time that could be filled with a pre-paid asset (infomercials or stuff like Charlie Moore and Dining Playbook). I imagine the going rate for 6 minutes worth of ads airing between 10am and 10:30 on a Tuesday is a fraction of what they get from Worx RX or the H2O SteamFX Pro to air for the full half-hour.
     
  15. jtn46

    jtn46 Well-Known Member Gold Supporter SoSH Member

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    7,991
    I worked for YES for a few years and the truth is the ratings for most things that weren't a Yankee game (or pre/postgame) weren't great. The Mike and the Mad Dog simulcast basically broke even as far as what it cost versus what it made and that's why it was always sort of tenuous whether it would stay around. Even the Nets didn't get good ratings when I was there (maybe they're better now) and given the size of the team needed to do a live sporting event the Nets in some years probably lost YES money. Point is for a RSN that is doing very well because of the teams they have, pouring money into any other programming is probably not going to actually make any extra money. A major reason RSN's bother to make shows at all is because they have some full-time staff with many hours to kill.

    For NESN in particular, they pay dirt, and they're located in Boston which is not a place most in TV production or operations target for a lucrative career. If they wanted to produce high-quality shows like Yankeeography they would need to really pony up because they would probably be asking NYC or LA professionals to move to Boston specifically to make these shows (or they would produce them in NY or LA). We in this industry mostly understand how volatile it is and the most important thing is to be ready to get another good job quickly, and that means staying anchored to NY or LA.
     
  16. The_Powa_of_Seiji_Ozawa

    The_Powa_of_Seiji_Ozawa Member SoSH Member

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    remember Sox Appeal?
     
  17. Leskanic's_Thread

    Leskanic's_Thread Member SoSH Member

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    This is a good point. Similarly, I know that (at least in the past) NESN sometimes will show Pawtucket or Portland games on MLB off nights. But why can't they show more of those during the day? Or some off-season stuff from fall league teams that have prominent Sox prospects on them? I would assume that broadcasts are happening anyway...are the rights really that expensive? Wouldn't people who subscribe to NESN be more likely to tune in for actual baseball and hockey games than for the braying fisherman or restaurant reviews?
     
  18. Red(s)HawksFan

    Red(s)HawksFan Member SoSH Member

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    Thing is, they don't need people tuning in for the fisherman or restaurant reviews since those shows are paying to be there. They're selling their own ad time to finance the show, then buying the air time from NESN. Probably buying cheap but it still means NESN is coming out ahead on that timeslot without much of an effort. Whereas airing games means they have to sell the ad time themselves.

    Also, I don't think the minor league games are broadcast if they're not on NESN. At least, I don't believe that's the case for Portland. They have cameras and they certainly film the games, but the "broadcast" doesn't really leave the park. They do it for the benefit of the screens on the concourses, with the radio broadcast simulcast on it. It doesn't air on local cable or anything. So when the game does end up on NESN, they tap into those camera feeds but they still have to pay all associated costs to get it on the air (satellite being the biggest).
     
  19. MuzzyField

    MuzzyField Well-Known Member Gold Supporter SoSH Member

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    NESN’s revenue stream is more than just commercial sales, it is heavily subsidized with monthly subscription fees... from (just like ESPN) mostly non-sports fans. NESN remains a cash grab, but it will be interesting to see if the Yankees were right to get out of the YES ownership business.

    What a treat to pay a premium for a channel that features a significant amount of paid programming beyond the usual, and more appropriate, overnight hours.

    Most affiliates above AA, and a bunch of lower-level teams as well, are streaming on MiLB.TV.
     
  20. Dan Murfman

    Dan Murfman Member SoSH Member

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    They might be getting back in YES ownership.

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/barrym...etwork-after-fox-sale-to-disney/#1a2669ae161d
     
  21. bosox79

    bosox79 Member SoSH Member

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    Back when the Seadogs first moved into Portland, they were airing all those games on a local ABC/NBC/CBS affiliate (can't remember which network). This was a long time ago, though.
     
  22. Brohamer of the Gods

    Brohamer of the Gods Well-Known Member Silver Supporter SoSH Member

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    1,313
  23. Lose Remerswaal

    Lose Remerswaal Leaves after the 8th inning Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    What would it cost NESN to air them?

    I'd watch.
     
  24. Brohamer of the Gods

    Brohamer of the Gods Well-Known Member Silver Supporter SoSH Member

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    1,313
  25. Lose Remerswaal

    Lose Remerswaal Leaves after the 8th inning Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    31,730
    Oh yeah, they've been doing that for years, maybe a half dozen games on off days. But hell, I'd watch Friday night's Pawsox game at noon the next day if the Sox were playing at 4PM or 7PM.
     
  26. MuzzyField

    MuzzyField Well-Known Member Gold Supporter SoSH Member

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    Did/does Bob Montgomery booth some of these PawSox games?
     
  27. Archer1979

    Archer1979 shazowies Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    I would love it if they did something along the lines of YES's Yankeeography. Go after the colorful ones from the past. Pedro is obvious, but how about an hour on Rick Burleson? Eck's story would be interesting too especially if they went over the Cleveland years. Great history with the Sox and a gold mine of content.
     
  28. Lose Remerswaal

    Lose Remerswaal Leaves after the 8th inning Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    That would be great, but it's well explained above why getting the talent to put together a show like that would be difficult in Boston
     
  29. timlinin8th

    timlinin8th Member SoSH Member

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    This is what I come back to. I get that the Charlie Moore et al stuff is one lump sum, paid timeslot where no effort is put in by NESN, but you can’t convince me the revenue they could pull in from airing games wouldn’t be exponentially higher. Isn’t the effort/associated costs worth it if the overall profit on that slot ends up being factors higher?

    Again, going with the Providence Bruins example, Provy plays Friday nights pretty much every week. Boston traditionally only plays a few Fridays in their whole schedule (more typically their games fall on Thu then Sat or Sat/Sun back-to-backs). A weekly Provy game on a Friday night in the dead of winter can’t pull in enough eyeballs to sell significantly more ad time than a show literally nobody watches is getting (again, understanding that Charlie Moore et al is doing the legwork in that instance)?

    I’d watch.

    *edited to add - I think there is a distinction to be made between hockey where Providence can be broadcast on a regularly scheduled basis vs. the “one-off” nature of how PawSox games have been randomly crammed into one or two Mondays a season. More regularly scheduled I would imagine equals more viewership which is why I am using the hockey example specifically*
     
    #29 timlinin8th, Sep 18, 2018 at 9:13 AM
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2018 at 9:31 AM
  30. Carmen Fanzone

    Carmen Fanzone Monbo's BFF

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    6,026
    Last week's Red Sox Report featured a long-time but dearly departed SoSHer.

     
  31. Lose Remerswaal

    Lose Remerswaal Leaves after the 8th inning Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    Watching NESN this AM i tuned in 2 minutes early for Sports Desk and there was a paid program advertising some boxing event. Coming up on September 9.
     
  32. Mugsy's Jock

    Mugsy's Jock Longtime Member Lifetime Member Gold Supporter SoSH Member

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    2019 or 2020?
     
  33. bosox79

    bosox79 Member SoSH Member

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    Probably 2018. Sometimes they still air the ads after the event took place for some reason.
     
  34. Lose Remerswaal

    Lose Remerswaal Leaves after the 8th inning Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    Yes. I believe it said Sunday, so it could be 2012 or 2029
     
  35. Mugsy's Jock

    Mugsy's Jock Longtime Member Lifetime Member Gold Supporter SoSH Member

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    Good to know... am pretty well into my 2029 date book and want to make sure I leave time to watch the fight.
     
  36. TheBoomah

    TheBoomah Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    Who among us wouldn't watch something like Red Sox Classics? Clemens' 20K game against Seattle, pennant clinchers and the like.

    I would prefer that it would a bit different than Yankee Classics. Meaning, I don't define a classic as a Yankee win three days earlier by destroying Baltimore or KC.

    Also, please spare us Infomercials such as Larry King Update -- is Your Credit in Crisis or if I'd like to prepare healthier fried food with the Nuwave Brio.
     
  37. budcrew08

    budcrew08 Member SoSH Member

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    Living in NY, I have YES and they play those Yankee Classics; they love to trot out Righetti’s Independence Day no-hitter from 1983. But as a baseball fan, not just a Sox fan, I think it’s interesting, the old graphics, stars from the past.. NESN could make good money showing those famous games.
     
  38. The Gray Eagle

    The Gray Eagle Member SoSH Member

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    Wait, who is the dearly departed SOSHer in that?

    It was a good show, by the way, NESN needs more like that.
     

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