Why are we force fed the Yankees and Red Sox?

Saturday April 10, 2010

I turn on MLB on Fox for the national game and what team do I see? If I turn on ESPN networks what teams will I see most often?

Well the odds are that I will see either the Yankees or the Red Sox or both of them.

Those two teams were seen on national games (Fox, ESPN & TBS) more times last season than any other division in baseball with all their teams combined.

This year they are currently scheduled for more appearances than any other division in baseball this season. NOT including the Opening Day game on ESPN a day before any other team got to play, there are 18 scheduled for the Yankees so far, 18 for the Red Sox of 109 total games.

Of the 7 TBS games currently scheduled, 5 include either the Yankees or Red Sox. 71.4% of the games!

National Broadcast Schedule

Sat, Apr 10 3:10 PM New York Yankees Tampa Bay Rays FOX
Sat, Apr 10 3:10 PM Seattle Mariners Texas Rangers FOX
Sat, Apr 10 3:10 PM St. Louis Cardinals Milwaukee Brewers FOX
Sun, Apr 11 1:40 PM New York Yankees Tampa Bay Rays TBS
Sun, Apr 11 8:05 PM St. Louis Cardinals Milwaukee Brewers ESPN
Mon, Apr 12 4:10 PM Boston Red Sox Minnesota Twins ESPN
Wed, Apr 14 8:15 PM Houston Astros St. Louis Cardinals ESPN2
Sat, Apr 17 4:10 PM Chicago White Sox Cleveland Indians FOX
Sat, Apr 17 4:10 PM San Francisco Giants Los Angeles Dodgers FOX
Sat, Apr 17 4:10 PM New York Mets St. Louis Cardinals FOX
Sun, Apr 18 1:35 PM Tampa Bay Rays Boston Red Sox TBS
Sun, Apr 18 8:05 PM New York Mets St. Louis Cardinals ESPN
Mon, Apr 19 7:10 PM Chicago Cubs New York Mets ESPN
Sat, Apr 24 4:10 PM Seattle Mariners Chicago White Sox FOX
Sat, Apr 24 4:10 PM New York Yankees Los Angeles Angels FOX
Sun, Apr 25 2:10 PM Chicago Cubs Milwaukee Brewers TBS
Sun, Apr 25 8:05 PM Atlanta Braves New York Mets ESPN
Mon, Apr 26 7:10 PM Los Angeles Dodgers New York Mets ESPN
Sat, May 1 3:10 PM Houston Astros Atlanta Braves FOX
Sat, May 1 3:10 PM New York Mets Philadelphia Phillies FOX
Sat, May 1 3:10 PM Texas Rangers Seattle Mariners FOX
Sun, May 2 1:05 PM Chicago White Sox New York Yankees TBS
Sun, May 2 8:05 PM New York Mets Philadelphia Phillies ESPN
Mon, May 3 7:10 PM Los Angeles Angels Boston Red Sox ESPN
Sat, May 8 3:10 PM Atlanta Braves Philadelphia Phillies FOX
Sat, May 8 3:10 PM New York Yankees Boston Red Sox FOX
Sun, May 9 1:35 PM Atlanta Braves Philadelphia Phillies TBS
Sun, May 9 8:05 PM New York Yankees Boston Red Sox ESPN
Mon, May 10 7:05 PM New York Yankees Detroit Tigers ESPN
Sat, May 15 4:10 PM Seattle Mariners Tampa Bay Rays FOX
Sat, May 15 4:10 PM Philadelphia Phillies Milwaukee Brewers FOX
Sat, May 15 4:10 PM Houston Astros San Francisco Giants FOX
Sun, May 16 1:05 PM Minnesota Twins New York Yankees TBS
Sun, May 16 8:05 PM Philadelphia Phillies Milwaukee Brewers ESPN
Mon, May 17 7:05 PM Boston Red Sox New York Yankees ESPN
Sat, May 22 7:10 PM Boston Red Sox Philadelphia Phillies FOX
Sat, May 22 7:10 PM Chicago Cubs Texas Rangers FOX
Sat, May 22 7:10 PM Detroit Tigers Los Angeles Dodgers FOX
Sat, May 22 7:10 PM New York Yankees New York Mets FOX
Sun, May 23 1:35 PM Boston Red Sox Philadelphia Phillies TBS
Sun, May 23 8:05 PM New York Yankees New York Mets ESPN
Mon, May 24 7:10 PM Boston Red Sox Tampa Bay Rays ESPN
Sat, May 29 TBD Seattle Mariners Los Angeles Angels FOX
Sat, May 29 4:10 PM St. Louis Cardinals Chicago Cubs FOX
Sat, May 29 4:10 PM Texas Rangers Minnesota Twins FOX
Sun, May 30 2:20 PM St. Louis Cardinals Chicago Cubs TBS
Sun, May 30 8:05 PM Texas Rangers Minnesota Twins ESPN2
Tue, Jun 1 7:10 PM Philadelphia Phillies Atlanta Braves ESPN
Sat, Jun 5 4:10 PM Los Angeles Angels Seattle Mariners FOX
Sat, Jun 5 4:10 PM Florida Marlins New York Mets FOX
Sat, Jun 5 4:10 PM Milwaukee Brewers St. Louis Cardinals FOX
Mon, Jun 7 7:05 PM Boston Red Sox Cleveland Indians ESPN
Sat, Jun 12 4:10 PM Chicago White Sox Chicago Cubs FOX
Sat, Jun 12 4:10 PM Philadelphia Phillies Boston Red Sox FOX
Mon, Jun 14 8:15 PM Seattle Mariners St. Louis Cardinals ESPN
Sat, Jun 19 4:10 PM Los Angeles Dodgers Boston Red Sox FOX
Sat, Jun 19 4:10 PM Minnesota Twins Philadelphia Phillies FOX
Mon, Jun 21 9:40 PM New York Yankees Arizona Diamondbacks ESPN
Sat, Jun 26 7:10 PM Boston Red Sox San Francisco Giants FOX
Sat, Jun 26 7:10 PM Chicago Cubs Chicago White Sox FOX
Sat, Jun 26 7:10 PM New York Yankees Los Angeles Dodgers FOX
Sat, Jul 3 4:10 PM Florida Marlins Atlanta Braves FOX
Sat, Jul 3 4:10 PM Milwaukee Brewers St. Louis Cardinals FOX
Sat, Jul 3 4:10 PM Tampa Bay Rays Minnesota Twins FOX
Sun, Jul 4 8:15 PM Kansas City Royals Los Angeles Angels ESPN
Mon, Jul 5 7:10 PM Boston Red Sox Tampa Bay Rays ESPN
Sat, Jul 10 4:10 PM Chicago Cubs Los Angeles Dodgers FOX
Sat, Jul 10 4:10 PM Minnesota Twins Detroit Tigers FOX
Sat, Jul 10 4:10 PM Atlanta Braves New York Mets FOX
Sun, Jul 11 8:05 PM Chicago Cubs Los Angeles Dodgers ESPN
Sat, Jul 17 4:10 PM Los Angeles Dodgers St. Louis Cardinals FOX
Sat, Jul 17 4:10 PM Tampa Bay Rays New York Yankees FOX
Sun, Jul 18 8:05 PM Philadelphia Phillies Chicago Cubs ESPN
Mon, Jul 19 8:15 PM Philadelphia Phillies St. Louis Cardinals ESPN
Sat, Jul 24 4:10 PM Colorado Rockies Philadelphia Phillies FOX
Sat, Jul 24 4:10 PM Minnesota Twins Baltimore Orioles FOX
Sat, Jul 24 4:10 PM New York Mets Los Angeles Dodgers FOX
Mon, Jul 26 7:05 PM New York Yankees Cleveland Indians ESPN
Sat, Jul 31 4:10 PM Los Angeles Dodgers San Francisco Giants FOX
Sat, Jul 31 4:10 PM Seattle Mariners Minnesota Twins FOX
Sat, Jul 31 4:10 PM Detroit Tigers Boston Red Sox FOX
Mon, Aug 2 7:10 PM New York Mets Atlanta Braves ESPN
Sat, Aug 7 4:10 PM San Francisco Giants Atlanta Braves FOX
Sat, Aug 7 4:10 PM Boston Red Sox New York Yankees FOX
Mon, Aug 9 7:10 PM St. Louis Cardinals Cincinnati Reds ESPN
Sat, Aug 14 4:10 PM Chicago Cubs St. Louis Cardinals FOX
Sat, Aug 14 4:10 PM San Diego Padres San Francisco Giants FOX
Sat, Aug 14 4:10 PM Baltimore Orioles Tampa Bay Rays FOX
Wed, Aug 18 7:05 PM Detroit Tigers New York Yankees ESPN
Sat, Aug 21 4:10 PM Atlanta Braves Chicago Cubs FOX
Sat, Aug 21 4:10 PM Texas Rangers Baltimore Orioles FOX
Sat, Aug 21 4:10 PM Los Angeles Angels Minnesota Twins FOX
Sat, Aug 28 4:10 PM Philadelphia Phillies San Diego Padres FOX
Sat, Aug 28 4:10 PM Florida Marlins Atlanta Braves FOX
Sat, Aug 28 4:10 PM Minnesota Twins Seattle Mariners FOX
Wed, Sep 1 7:10 PM New York Mets Atlanta Braves ESPN
Sat, Sep 4 4:10 PM Los Angeles Angels Oakland Athletics FOX
Sat, Sep 4 4:10 PM New York Mets Chicago Cubs FOX
Sat, Sep 4 4:10 PM Texas Rangers Minnesota Twins FOX
Wed, Sep 8 7:10 PM Tampa Bay Rays Boston Red Sox ESPN
Sat, Sep 11 TBD Seattle Mariners Los Angeles Angels FOX
Sat, Sep 11 4:10 PM St. Louis Cardinals Atlanta Braves FOX
Sat, Sep 11 4:10 PM Philadelphia Phillies New York Mets FOX
Wed, Sep 15 8:15 PM Chicago Cubs St. Louis Cardinals ESPN
Sat, Sep 18 4:10 PM Atlanta Braves New York Mets FOX
Sat, Sep 18 4:10 PM Colorado Rockies Los Angeles Dodgers FOX
Sat, Sep 18 4:10 PM Detroit Tigers Chicago White Sox FOX
Wed, Sep 22 7:05 PM Tampa Bay Rays New York Yankees ESPN
Wed, Sep 29 8:10 PM Boston Red Sox Chicago White Sox ESPN

ESPN only schedules their Sunday Night games into July and after that they can pick any teams they want. Last season more often than not that was the Yankees or the Red Sox.

You wonder why those two teams have more money than other teams to spend on players and scouts and the other things that make you a consistent winner? Wonder no more.

They get paid for each of these appearances. If they get more of them than all the other teams, how is that creating an even playing field?

All the national games also means more Yankees and Red Sox merchandise being sold because all those people not living in the 30 cities that have MLB teams are buying the stuff of the teams they see on TV most. How is that creating an even playing field?

How many times were the Padres on national TV last season? Twice. (They were scheduled for 3 games just as they are this season, but only made two broadcasts)

How many times were the Yankees on national games last season?
15 games against the Red Sox (of 18?). 26 games against other opponents. For a total of 41 games.

How many times were the Red Sox on National Games last season?
15 games against the Yankees. 26 games against other opponents. For a total of 41 games.

How many games were broadcast nationally on ESPN, Fox and TBS total?
As far as I could find – 108.

You may have noticed I have not included MLB Network. I did that because its viewership is too small to be called national.

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7 thoughts on “Why are we force fed the Yankees and Red Sox?

  1. Too bad, buddy. Get use to it. It happens to be the best rivalry in sports. If you don't like it, don't watch it. Or, better yet, get DirecTV's MLB package and you can watch whatever you want without grumbling.

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  2. The percentage of games is going down this season except on TBS, so at least I dont have to get used to it as often. It still stinks that they get so many games when less people care about them than a Yankee or Red Sox fan like you would think. And I have DirecTV, I don't watch Yankees or Red Sox games unless they are playing the Padres. I won't contribute to their ratings.

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  3. take a look at the attendance figures at other ballparks when the Yankees or Red Sox are in town. Both of their fan bases are rabid and their fans tune in for every single pitch. Also, because both teams have been in the playoffs quite a bit lately (OK, all the time), they have the stars that an average baseball fan (or even a casual fan) would know of. That said, I'm an avid Red Sox fan and I am tired of it myself.

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  4. Great point about the Padres. Maybe they SHOULD be the ones on TV more. Oh wait, they are on the west coast so the games don't end until midnight back east and by that time ESPN is already at home sleeping.

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  5. It's not just the media – MLB plays up the rivalry because the two teams are now perennial contenders. But it's mostly the northeast media because that region constitutes the bulk of their viewership and profits. Whatever gets ratings in the Boston-NY-Washington corridor is what the whole country is forced to watch.

    It's not just the small franchise fans complaining – I saw one comment in a St. Louis blog that read: “to ESPN: go fuck yourselves. -the midwest”. I've seen other comments along that line, just not as succinct, from Chicago, LA and San Francisco, from fans of both teams in those cities.

    MLB is hooked on the TV revenue, but is going to have problems nationwide if the coverage doesn't become more equitable. After all, the Yankees-Red Sox will never meet in the World Series – or could that be the reason for Bud Selig's floating division concept?

    Larry Faria
    Ocean Beach

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  6. NY is the largest media market, but Boston is pretty far down the list at 7th. LKA is 2nd and SF/Oakland is 6th. San Diego is 28th

    As far as Padres road attendance, as I said – Top 10.

    2009 Padres were 9th in road attendance
    http://espn.go.com/mlb/attendance/_/year/2009/sort/awayAvg

    2008 Padres were 4th
    http://espn.go.com/mlb/attendance/_/year/2008/sort/awayAvg

    2007 Padres were 8th
    http://espn.go.com/mlb/attendance/_/year/2007/sort/awayAvg

    2006 Padres were 8th
    http://espn.go.com/mlb/attendance/_/year/2006/sort/awayAvg

    Consistently in the top 10 in MLB and they did that even though they are on the west coast and on TV after the ESPN crews are sleeping. Although Fox has no excuse since they are headquartered in LA.

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