Tired Sports Fans Could Boycott ESPN For One Week Thanks To Free MLB.TV

Patrick ReadSenior Writer IJuly 10, 2008

July 10th, 2008

Washington DC

I watched ESPN’s First Take yesterday, and listening to Skip “To the Lou Gently” Bayless’s (that link gives you the rumor on Skip) latest rant about athletes who make too much, and teams who shouldn’t ever lose; when it hit me how fans could voice their concern, and have a real impact on ESPN. 

This on the heels of tonights' PTI crew, who filled in for Cornheiser and Wilbon.  Dan Shaughnessy and this fat, beefy chunk of a guy playing the Bermen wannabe role, took the opportunity to nail Giambi for his past use of legal drugs, while praising Josh Hamiltons' felonious use of illegal drugs. 

These two said that the reason Hamilton deserves a second chance is because he was honest, despite everyones' knowledge of Giambi's honesty well over 5 years ago, much less Pettitte-who ESPN reminds us fans of every other day.  

Giambi lessened his own market, was honest to a fault, and forced by Selig to coopperate for his knowledge about legal drugs, which turned out to be the biggest fraud of all.  Indeed the dealers who were the only ones breaking the law, got deals from the government, and walked off scott free, while athletes are being set-up by the same government for "lying." Polticians would do well to beware if lying is the all out greatest sin, as ESPN pontificates to it being.

What is more is that these ESPN boradcasters then equate Barry Bonds not playing right now because of racsim.  Mind boggling, huh? These three were all brought up within mere seconds of each other.  Really what Bonds suffers from is a backlash brought on by none other than....ESPN.

As if anyone on ESPN is a priest with the power of absolution.  Instead of just saying what ESPN wants to hear is true for their own financial benefit, maybe Bonds could go on an all out cocaine, and alcohol binge.  He could then committ to a 12 step program, and afterwards go to ESPN for forgiveness, instead of a priest!   

Good job ESPN, you report what you're told, or what makes you the almighty buck regardless of integrity that used to be required of all journalist. In other words you are fakes, bud. 

Why do you think that ESPN is lushing over the Tampa Bay Rays right now, who flops every year after mid-season?  Who is Tampa threatening to take out of this years post season run?  We are only starting to see the dmise of Tampa Bay in the last couple of series, but it shouldn't surprise anyone-unless you buy what ESPN sell you.  No offense intended to Rays fans, just illustrating the ESPN take here.

The market drives ESPN, and all small markets, or those who compete agasint ESPN, is the constant target of their inciteful bash fest. Tampa is the exception to the rule, which proves the rule.  Where has the coverage been for the Mainers, another small marketer?

The vast majority of fans country wide belong to small market teams simply because most teams have a smaller fan base, than say the Red Sox. It is a vicious cycle too, because how is a team to grow in this day without ESPNs' support? They are the only national sports broadcast network, and they are huge! Some market have to go outside their physical location to grow, which means they depend on national coverage, aka -ESPN.

Instead of supporting, or at least being objective while covering small market teams, ESPN goes out of their way to "cheerlead" against them.  When was the last time you heard ESPN offer high light reel commentary in support of the Blue Jays over the Red Sox?  The Jays are a perfect example too, being from a separate country and in a smaller market.

The Yankees own their own broadcast network, where ESPNs' Fred Hicks used to work, before the earings.  The Yanks comepete against ESPN, as if Joe Public couldn't tell by ESPNs take on them.  So the Yanks do not care.  ESPN only serves to tick out of state Yankee fans off, which will only serve to make ESPN all the more phony.  Unless they can make up a team with NYY history, I think they are trying their hardest.

What an opportunity for Yankee fans to unite with smaller market fans against a common nusiance, ESPN.   They might want to express their displeasure over their continually biased reporting, which is a far cry from the 1980s Chris Berman style of "rumbling, bumbling and stumbling" about for both teams.  By the way, if you haven't heard his meltdown from last January, there is an embedded link to it towards the end of the article. It's a must-listen, but warning—adults only!

The MLB provided an opportunity for us, the fans who have fallen victim to ESPNs' constant favortism of bigger market teams who make them money.  We can now voice our displeasure with ESPNs' sold out morality, and biased coverages through the use of MLB.TV. 

All  fans, regardless of market size, are eligible for one week of FREE MLB.TV, and their promotion for “every team, and every game.” I am just curious as to how a baseball-fan boycott would affect ESPN, its revenue, its advertisers and sponsors, its executives, all the way down to their ranting, raving reporters, save Mike and Mike. 

Boycotting ESPN for one week would certainly hit them where it hurts: right in the fat ol' wallet!

Besides, Bleacher Report has partnered with Fox Sports.  Fans could enjoy The Best Damn highlights after watching the games on MLB.TV; or watch the MLB reporters instead of the drama-queen style reporting found on the clearly biased ESPN. Fox is a competitor to ESPN, their ABC Sports, and NBC, which will all tie in as you read on.

This little suggestion is a Generation X'ers way of protest, but it would take the blogs to get the word out, because this writer has no discretionary budget, nor one for advertising or paying players off who I like in the form of commericals because they make me money. 

Without fail, ESPN offends me every day, so much so that I have done a little research.

How did ESPN start? 

In the 1970s Rick and his father Bill Rasmussen, being from Massachusetts, and hockey enthusiast were both working for the World Hockey League's New England Whalers, a small time team, in a small time market.  Just a test, quickly name Bostons pro hockey team. It took me a mintue, I remebered the black and gold uniform, those orving hockey and Boston don't really mix so much.

Bill was also a sports reporter working for NBC, who paid him to cover the Whalers, not partner with them.  Rasmussen was working both sides of the coin.  At the same time he was a sales man for the Whalers, selling commercial spots while reporting on them too, thus providing the seed for ESPN's ability of crossing the lines.  His son, Rick, was the Whalers' public-address announcer, too. How were teams covered who played against the Whalers back then, who knows? 

The Rasmussens were hoping to collect enough scratch to start threir own broadcast network, to most teams and their fans peril, who find no benefit at all by ESPN's existence. Having placed himself, and his son in an apparent conflict of interest between NBC both Bill and Rick were fired.

Soon afterwards, in 1979, having learned that satellite technology was much cheaper than cable networking, Bill bought 24-hour blocks of time, and—"de-na-nah, de-na-nah"—ESPN was born.

Rick and Bill soon hired on Chet Simmons, who held the title of CEO for nearly two decades, before becoming the USFL’s first League Commissioner—seemingly one great benefit stemming from airtime exposure.

Later in 1998, George Bodenheimer took over as the Directing Officer and CEO of ESPN, and in 2003, ESPN acquired ABC Sports. NBC’s competitor sold out to Bill and Rick as karma would have it, and Bodenheimer was running both networks. 

ABC was allowed to retain its title, which is a good thing, because for this kid from the 1970s, I would have been ticked if ESPN had openly taken over the Wide World of Sports accomplished by real journalist for cheerleaders with a mic.

Currently, Disney owns ESPN, is a competitor of YES (the Yankees Broadcast Network), and NBC. Boston knows this, as they have blamed our revenue for 10 years before winning their own title, thus alleviating any ring envy. I will stop right there. 

Does Goofy know that he supports some pretty questionable morals and political views by way of ESPN, or is Goofy just turning the blind eye.  Fans would do well if they equated ESPN with Walt Disney, and yes-Goofy too.  Their highest baseball ratings in the last several years were the result of the Clemens trial, ex Massachusetts great, and now much maligned.

Karma is a funny thing sometimes, because a new cheap media is out there for anyone willing to take advantage.  Although, many cannot benefit from family relationships in this area, unless your dad is Al Gore, who invented the Internet (joke).  Oh what a tangled web we weave..... when the internet can show ESPN's ability to decieve.

Market Generatation is doomed by ESPN

ESPN roots agasint anyone whose market is not big enough to cover their costs, otherwise known as market generated coverages, and subsequent rants by ESPN for those markets that they find financially appealing.  IN the words of Fred Durst, they did it all for the nookie. Meaning ESPN bolsters one team over another based on their own ability to profit.

ESPN is impacting small markets in a negative manner, and then turn around and sell you that it is the Yankees fault, so it's okay to hate the Yankees.  When is the last time you heard any of these clowns cheerlead for Kansas City, or Seattle for more than one week, one month, or one year? Seen a Houston game lately, or how about the Marlins? 

It is great seeing Milwaukee obtain CC Sabathia, who now looks to reach the postseason for the first time since 1982. Everyone likes the underdog. Been there, done that, too. But has ESPN covered them one time in the last couple of weeks? No, they’re more interested in the second-place team in the AL East. That is bad for baseball altogether.

The reason that ESPN hates the Yankees is because George Steinbrenner is a competitor. He owns YES, which is the broadcast network of the Yanks (Yankees Entertainment and Sports) and owns the rights to all Yankees games aired.  They have to pay Steinbrenner to show Yankee games, instead of a local carrier who covers that team.

What other team gets direct revenue from the boradcast of their team?  None do, broadcast networks buy the rights from the MLB, who then shares the revenue MLB wide.   That is all but one.

Now, given that the almighty buck is what these ladies are really cheering for on ESPN, it is no wonder why they do not promote, nor air, small-market teams.  But these beauts cheer for one team over another, and that is not something that journalist do.  Simply put, they are not journalist. And they are having a negative impact on small markets, rahter than no impact at all, and these fans are the vast majority of fans as well!

Advertising money is based on ratings, which is based on market strength. Tah-dah, now you know why Boston, L.A., and Chicago all get love, and the Yankees, Kansas City, Seattle, Marlins etc. do not.  Simply put, it is a matter of how many fans are upset, versus how much money is made from “flirting” only with the big boys on the block is the logic which drives ESPN cheer leaders.

Advertisers market directly to us, so fans have a lot of power, but little way of flexing that fan muscle—until now.

What would happen if fans boycotted ESPN Baseball for one entire week? Fans could view every game, and every team that they want; which really is a great deal for the price for a whole season at $120. You get all games on demand, plus hometown radio.

It suits this writer well, as I am a displaced fan in Washington DC. Through MLB.TV, I can listen to Sterling's pregame and postgame, and then mute Michael Kay, who is getting better. He did well against the Boston Mob on Sports Reporters two weeks ago.  

It is a huge organization that needs a good bubble bursting! A bubble exists when the market has reached its potential, and with reporting like this, ESPN is over-extended at best.  Not that we could pop that huge bubble, however we can take some revenue away by diminshing their ratings!

Doing that would only remind them they started with one honest sports man, in Chris Berman, who also snapped recently around media day before the Super Bowl. If you haven’t already, give it a listen. *Warning, harsh language. For adults only.*  

Don’t even get me started on what these “people” did to Miggy Tejada, but let Pedro Martinez off the age hook, along with El Duque, too.

Here is the kicker. By boycotting ESPN for one week, fans would probably, more than likely, turn to Fox Sports and their highest-rated program, The Best Damn Sports Show Period

Equally interesting is the fact that the Bleacher Report has recently partnered up with Fox Sports online, whose main competition is none other than ABC and NBC.

The difference is this: The Best Damn Sports Show Period has real athletes who have actually, at some point in their lives, played the sport for which they now report on except one, not all.

ESPN? Most went to law school, which is downright depressing, seeing as how they are doing the sporting page when possessing a law degree. Follow the money though. All lawyers do.

Need proof of ESPN's bias?

Here is a whole nationality that is boycotting ESPN. Some fans go back and forth about regional bias. Bob Ryan is certainly one who illustrates his regional bias on ESPN, aslo being from Boston. Shocker?

Here is one that points to ESPN's hatred of the Yankees. One of ESPN’s reporters was recently suspended for calling out fans of Boston, albeit in a not-so-flattering way, which is in line with…Skip Bayless, whom the girl had worked with several times before her suspension, and undoubtedly took cue from.

Then there is Peter Gammons, who goes goo-goo over Red anything, plus there is also Jackie McMullen. Of course, there is the infamous suspension of Notre Dame and Jesus hater, Dana Jacobson, which is interesting because ESPN didn’t even go on record for about a week after the incident.

To quote her directly, she said “F*ck Notre Dame, F*ck Touchdown Jesus," and look out for lightning, because she went with, "F*ck Jesus" too. Golic should have decked the self professed Michigan fan sooner, and it wasn't made public (at first) because it was a promoted by those who like Boston College.  Rival this "lady of the night", you were discussing this religious rant while at a roast..open to the public, but you will never see that public event now.  By the way, 70% of all Americans are Christian.  And Notre Dame doesn't consider Michigan their rival team, sorry to disapoint, that prevlige is reserved for a more west coast team.

Trust me, we Irish Fans don't even know what team like Michigan, or Boston College is upset with, other than an "inter-religious war," as it's called. The Irish have 11 national championships, more than any other college football team around, and they get hit like that all the time with nary a response. So I say, F*ck Mssss. Jacobson! SHe was reportedly drunk, see above Hamilton remarks, and not on steroids or HGH.

Mike Lupica, long time presence of the Sports Reporters, is right there with her. He graduated from Boston College himself, along with other occasional Boston journalists who fill in from time to time. There are just too many to list.

So, have you banned your sportscaster today?



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