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Old 05-14-2013, 01:51 PM
Hitmen77 Hitmen77 is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2004
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Originally Posted by Lip Man 1 View Post
Dump, personally I don't care for EE myself but as you suggest his ideas were brilliant especially connected with the TV aspect. SportsVision was ahead of its time but failed because of the economy, the newness of the idea and because as you said Chicago was the wrong market (two team town) to try it.

EE was part of the effort to move to Florida in large part because of the TV revenue that would have been generated by such a move. According to Helyar in his book, "The Lords of the Realm," the Sox without selling a single ticket had they moved to Florida would have been the second most profitable team in MLB just because of the TV deal they could have had. Again as a Sox fan, I hated that idea but I have to give EE credit, he knew TV money was going to drive the sport and as history has shown it is, just ask the Red Sox, Yankees, Angels, Rangers and Dodgers.
EE was right about predicting that the big money in baseball will be regional "SportsVision"-type networks.....but only to a certain extent. Remember, EE didn't set up SportsVision as a basic cable-type network, it was a PREMIUM pay channel. It was $15/month in 1982 - that's equivalent to something like $35/month in today's dollars. That type of fee to see broadcasts of a local MLB team would be a total failure today too.

To be fair, their options were limited in '82. The Sox had no good free TV options and Chicago was a few years away from being wired for cable TV. So, SportVision had to be broadcast via the much more expensive "over the air" pay channel route. So, it's not all EE's fault. Nonetheless, they totally overestimated the willingness of fans to pay premium channel prices to see the Sox. Chicagoland started getting cable over the next few years after SportsVision's launch and the channel moved over to cable. But, if I remember correctly, they still kept SportsVision as a premium channel even after they moved it to cable. By the time they made SportsVision a basic cable channel, it was too late - the Sox were mired in their 1986-88 irrelevance, the Cubs had taken over this town, and EE was more interested in moving to St. Petersburg than in making the Sox competitive in the Chicago market.

I'll never forget seeing EE on TV back then talking about SportsVision and pretty much telling Sox fans that they just better get used to it and stop complaining about it. It was infuriating and insulting to hear. Typical marketing charm from the current Sox ownership.

Originally Posted by Lip Man 1 View Post

King, as I talked about in my two part history of the Sox and the media since the 1950's, being in first place for three months after a losing season the year before and without even having back to back winning seasons since 05-06 is not the way to get skeptical fans to come out. Winning means, as other have said, a legit contender for the playoffs, not only by winning a crappy diivsion with 85 wins or so, but a legit contender for the pennant. And having that opinion for a few years in a row.

Originally Posted by Whitesox029 View Post
As I think someone already mentioned, when we say that winning draws, we're not talking about a team that unexpectedly contends for 5 months, collapses down the stretch, does nothing in the offseason, and predictably stumbles out of the gate the next year, thus fulfilling the prognostications of most experts. We're talking about a team that makes the playoffs 5+ years in a row, to the point where it's considered a foregone conclusion by everyone that they will be in contention. Every year we go through the same thing-- "no one's picking the Sox, but if this and this and this and this all go right, they could surprise some people". No. People will start showing up (this especially applies to April and May) consistently when the conversation in February is consistently about "Who's the Sox' biggest challenger for the division crown this year?"
You guys are absolutely right.

This is what people fail to understand when they point to the Sox 2012 attendance as "proof" that fans won't show up even when they win.

The team came off an utterly disappointing and infuriating 2011 season, did nothing in the offseason, and pretty much acknowledged they were not in it to win when they hired a manager with zero professional coaching experience for "on the job training". This means they went into 2012 will weak season tickets and advance ticket sales.

....and yet people seriously lay the blame on Sox fans because the team didn't suddenly erase 5 years of ticket sales decline in a few months with their typical "we'll get hot in June and collapse in the end" performance.
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