Tuesday, February 16, 2016
Posted by el duque at 6:58 AM
A similar event happened last fall in the tri-state area.
Since November, Comcast and Fox - the Sunnis and Shiites of TV - have played chicken over YES broadcasts, creating a tiny wrinkle in the Yankee time-and-space continuum. As a result, 900,000 suburban rec rooms have been denied daily simulcasts of the Michael Kay Show. Hard to believe that weed-whacker-wielding mobs of Yank-Kay fans haven't marched on City Hall, eh? They must be drinking Flint water, and it made them sluggish.
But today, as the Daily News' Bob Raissman reports, the all-important March 2 Yankee Spring Training TV Opener - yes, against those dreaded Tigers! - could be a victim of this blood feud. (We'll have to listen to the Yankee Radio Network, driven by Cheap.)
It started when Fox-YES demanded a 33 percent increase in cable broadcast fees. Every Comcast subscriber - whether they follow the Yankees or not - pays almost $5 per month into the Steinbrenner Family Dynasty Trust. But this year, Comcast fired back. Says Raissman:
"More irrelevant than compelling." Yeow, kitty like to scratch! Of course, as Raissman says, this is probably just another bucket of brinksmanship. At the last minute, the suited elephants will cut a deal, and nothing will change. Or maybe no. Maybe the suits noticed something:
The 2015 Yankees were boring.
Yeah, boring. Fans were tired of watching the same aging, skill-eroded players, especially when management has no option other than to play them. The two most exciting things that happened last season were Greg Bird and Luis Severino. They almost balanced out the everyday dreariness of Carlos Beltran and Chase Headley, even though both players posted their usual numbers, more or less.
Old guys make boring teams. Boring teams make lower ratings. Lower ratings should mean lower fees. The 2015 Yankees were all of the above. The Mets enter 2016 owning New York, and Food Stamps Hal didn't shell out to sign a starting pitcher - the one ingredient that could have vaulted this team to the top of pre-season predictions.
One of these days, viewers across America will be free from the shackles of cable TV packages, which force them to pony up vast monthly sums for ESPN, YES, the Food Channel, whatever - for programming they don't watch. That doomsday judgement will affect Comcast, Fox, YES and Hal. I say, let the black holes converge. For better or worse, let's surf the waves...