Baseball in 2009 will feel the pinch of the economic times—at least if you are sitting home getting ready to watch the game of the week on Fox. I don't have all the Nielsen data about who watches pre-game shows, but I have had a source very close to the Fox family tell me that Fox has been hit hard by the economy.
Even the sports industry is not immune to layoffs and cutbacks.
No, Joe Buck will not be cut, but the pre-game show will no longer exist. Fox is getting away from the big-studio show before their game of the week this year. Execs at Fox Sports see this as a way to trim some fat from the production and operations budget.
I don't know too many fans that watched the show anyway—it seems like all of the information you get is at your fingertips. Really, how much does one game count in the grand-picture that is the MLB season?
Time will tell on how this impacts ratings and plans for football, as we see no end in sight. Fox, CBS, and ESPN put a ton of resources toward their pre and post game studio shows.
Perhaps we can do without so much hot air and wasted money. It should be an interesting year in the world of sports entertainment.