firestone credit card review top travel rewards cards canada low interest transfer balance credit cards applying for a credit card online vs in person best credit card to get with no credit history rfid credit card protector halifax credit card cash reward best travel reward credit cards 2012 canada no interest credit cards for fair credit best uk credit card balance transfer staples business credit card customer service list of credit card numbers wikipedia who issues walmart credit cards best gas credit cards to get iphone credit card processing app reviews best low interest credit card australia credit card comparison 0 purchases setting up a credit card merchant account barclays miles and more credit card usa login nationwide credit card offers for existing customers credit card protection on purchases via paypal student credit card natwest where can i buy facebook credits cards prepaid visa card canada get one mastercard securecode enrolment nandos black card buy how do handheld credit card machines work consolidating credit card debt with mortgage how to apply for a credit card at target bank of america visa reward cards pay icici credit card bill online from icici account unsecured loan bad credit instant decision mbna canada credit card balance virgin money credit card address uk starting a new credit card company best secured visa credit cards online direct payday loan lenders no credit check citibank credit card online payment streamline credit card machine rolls best buy credit card canada apply best free reward credit cards canada how to get a car loan with bad credit in ireland average credit card processing fees for businesses credit card for international students singapore 0 credit cards bad credit rating current credit card interest rates us credit card for non residents online credit card interest calculator interest free balance transfer credit card uk what is the best credit card in canada to have credit card uk best small business cash rewards credit card aqua credit card online tata sbi credit card statement legit online payday loans no credit check chase credit card minimum payment interest 500 fast cash loans pay sears credit card lowest interest credit card balance transfer best virtual credit card terminal horizon gold credit card complaints belk credit card payment number is opening a new credit card bad for your credit student credit cards no credit required which credit card is best in india yahoo answers bank of america alaska airlines credit card referral square iphone credit card service maybank horizon credit card singapore credit card information form word sears credit card customer service telephone number how to apply for credit card in sbi bank 10 best reward cards top 50 credit card companies bp gas credit card application indusind bank credit cards review payday lenders direct lenders lowest rate credit cards 2012 swipe credit card terminal for android axis bank credit cards types does arco gas have a credit card southwest visa credit card phone number td canada trust visa infinite easy to obtain department store credit cards wells fargo credit card cash advance limit credit card debt consolidation loan rates pnb credit card application form pdf secured visa credit card td bank lowest interest rate credit card india apply for a short term loan with bad credit credit card payments over the phone rules smartphone credit card terminal uk anz platinum credit card travel insurance policy instant payday loans compare accept credit cards online free uk low income credit cards philippines credit card settlement process flow easy no credit check credit cards bdo credit cards application form secured business credit card offers nab credit card insurance virtual credit card paypal current credit card rates payday advance online apply for mastercard canada online rewards credit cards uk visa credit card usa application best credit card deal canada cash advance uk westpac low rate credit card rewards need a personal loan with bad credit canada what is the best student credit card to apply for best buy credit cards contact secured credit cards bad credit instant approval which credit card is easiest to get in india credit cards instant approval and use icici instant credit card activation time top ten credit cards 2013 visa card canada gift card best free visa credit card canada my premier credit card application status prepaid us credit card hulu canada trust visa gold paypal mastercard prepaid apple app for accepting credit cards hdfc bank diners club international credit card gold money clip credit card holder credit card fraud statistics 2013 accept credit cards free online will opening new credit cards hurt my credit score first capital connect annual gold card personal loans with bad credit rating credit card payment approval form us bank credit card processing elavon amscot payday advance faq portable credit card machines australia top credit cards for business travelers bad credit secured loan calculator capital one secured card credit increase uk credit card debt settlement in dubai td canada trust visa gold credit card purchase protection under ?100 citibank pre approved credit card canadian reloadable prepaid credit cards online loans instant decision bad credit where do i send my belk credit card payment dillards credit card payment number verifone credit card machine ink best cash back visa credit card pay chase online credit cards credit card application form citibank platinum credit card lloyds best no fee credit card canada 2013 are there any guaranteed credit cards top credit card deals uk travel reward credit cards for bad credit us bank credit card bill payment address hsbc old orchard credit card bank of america credit card rewards program redeem citibank government travel credit card application apply for credit card with no credit or bad credit chase credit card cash advance pin best balance transfer credit cards for fair credit compare 0 purchase credit cards canadian tire credit card contact fake uk credit card number for itunes pay target visa credit card online best buy canada credit card chase how to get an amscot cash advance quick and easy online loans in south africa which credit card is best in india 2011 smione(tm) visa prepaid debit card easy credit card to get with bad credit cash back cards comparison best buy credit card approval score easy online payday loans direct lender citibank secured credit card application apply for hsbc credit card usa can you pay lane bryant credit card in store credit card 0 balance transfer offers credit card interest rate calculator can get credit card same day sbi credit card apply eligibility flyertalk delta credit card offer top credit card issuers 2011 pc richards credit card review visa cash card no fees does paying the minimum payment on a credit card affect your credit score hsbc bank credit card customer care number credit card payment applied to highest interest rate westpac credit card insurance contact number what is the best credit card for travel rewards 2011 credit score for discover card approval how to bypass credit card verification in itunes virtual credit card terminal no monthly fees delta rewards credit card reviews reducing credit card debt fast chase credit card payments best buy reward zone credit card login capital one secured credit card to rebuild credit travel reward credit cards for average credit mbna credit card canada phone number does sams club accept credit cards visa american express rewards cards review credit card account number font capital one credit card visa signature icici instant credit card charges hsbc visa card exchange rate credit card protection act 2010 payday advance service tesco credit card cash advance limit best credit card for business canada best credit cards for small business owners 2012 best business credit cards for gas credit card ratings 2011 lost everyday rewards cards citibank credit card fraud alert compare cheap credit cards credit card debt consolidation loans usa credit card debt consolidation loan chase best gas credit cards cash back lane bryant credit card customer service number new business credit cards instant approval how to buy apps from google play store without credit card payday loan lender top payday lenders uk bad credit personal loans direct lenders only fnb silver credit card interest rates india credit card no foreign transaction fee mastercard vs visa card wiki average usa credit card debt zero percent credit cards uk american express platinum credit card wiki virgin atlantic credit card black or white apply for hsbc secured credit card best credit card for balance transfers uk ge toys r us credit card login td first class travel visa infinite card benefits credit cards no interest no payments how much will a secured credit card help my credit visa credit card travel insurance canada how to sign up for netflix free trial without credit card third party credit card authorisation form lowest apr credit card available citibank credit card settlement prepaid credit cards uk no fees capital one no foreign transaction fee credit card intuit gopayment credit card terminal app andhra bank credit card apply online how to steal credit card information where to find credit card number on visa www hbc com creditcard direct cash advance lenders online what is 0 balance transfer credit card 15 cashback american express cards virgin america credit cards login uob credit card rewards catalogue malaysia low interest rate credit card offers best delta rewards credit card air canada credit card promotions orchard bad credit cards westpac credit card insurance claim form how to use standard chartered credit card reward points google credit card compare best options for credit card consolidation free credit card details that work direct payday loan lender sites incipio iphone credit card case fixed vs variable interest rate credit card 0 percent credit cards offers check us bank credit card application status old navy visa credit card payment address valid credit card number 2013 personal bad credit loans online mastercard priceless cities when was the first visa credit card issued how to get a first credit card for no credit post office credit card customer login is it smart to pay off credit card debt with student loans united mileage plus credit card review fake credit card numbers with money on them compare student credit cards canada are secured credit cards considered major credit cards walmart credit cards online account online loans instant decision south africa credit cards for low income good credit how to use canadian credit cards at us gas stations credit card help non profit pay as you go mastercard secured major credit cards applications of credit card fraud detection using hidden markov model elavon credit card processing reviews barclays platinum credit card contact number online payday loans instant approval ontario cash back credit card comparison uk compare american express credit cards australia small business credit cards instant approval natwest platinum credit card rewards rcbc credit card online application philippines best credit card balance transfer offers 2012 us bank credit card approval rates business credit card comparison uk credit card terminal till rolls virtual visa card for online shopping ncix credit card verification failed online application for bpi credit card how to accept credit card payments on website sbi credit card apply online in mumbai united airlines credit card offers 2013 low rate credit cards canada apply credit card online hdfc bank hdfc credit card helpline no gurgaon companies that reduce credit card debt gift visa card canada bpi credit card online application form citi freedom credit card login best credit card deals balance transfers natwest business credit card registration best buy credit card apply in store debit visa card canada td uk credit card number security code cash advance america payday loan scams tesco credit card online balance standard chartered manhattan credit card online payment air canada credit card rewards what is the best credit card in canada for rewards banks that offer credit cards paypal credit card charges malaysia secured citibank credit cards cash advance payday loan direct lenders hdfc credit card apply online in bangalore what happens to credit card debt when you die canada does walmart accept international credit cards pay your goodyear credit card online best short term cash loans chase credit card fraud contact credit card offers for bad credit unsecured credit cards for bad credit and unemployed college student credit cards no credit what is credit card purchase rate td prepaid credit cards canada wells fargo visa platinum credit card rewards best low income credit cards processing credit cards online without a merchant account lost credit card bank of scotland online payday loans bad credit canada paypal not accepting indian credit cards barclaycard credit card charges abroad bank of america pay loans online visa credit cards bad credit no deposit pc credit card online banking alaska air miles credit card what is the security code on a discover credit card easiest credit card to get in canada 2013 cash advance fee capital one loans with bad credit no guarantor what is cash advance limit best rewards credit card for average credit apply for a walmart credit card canada credit cards bad credit no annual fee new york and company credit cards payment credit card rewards comparison australia discover credit card usage virgin credit card payment protection cashback credit cards no annual fee lord and taylor credit card contact us unsecured credit cards for no credit history prepaid travel bmo mastercard pay advance tax online citibank best credit card reward offers 2013 best credit card business rewards one time credit card numbers uk firestone auto credit card login compare zero percent credit cards visa debit card cash back india best reward credit cards in the uk credit card charges abroad nationwide credit card merchant services for small business instant 3 month payday loans direct 1 hour payday loan lender best reward credit card 2013 canada get a prepaid credit card today is wells fargo secured credit card good how often does credit card report to credit bureau help consolidating credit card debt best usaa credit card for students secured orchard credit card halifax credit card minimum monthly payment best credit cards for low income earners business gas cards for bad credit hdfc credit card charges for late payment best travel credit cards canada jcpenney credit card payment options visa credit card travel insurance coverage what is the best credit card to have for airline miles chase disney credit card services natwest credit card online services review email average household credit card debt 2011 best card to transfer credit card balance how do i calculate my credit card interest rate can you transfer from credit card to bank account how do i apply for a visa credit card capital one secured credit card user review bank of america travel rewards credit cards credit card reward points comparison tesco credit card online account manager factors to consider when choosing a loan or credit card discover student more card no credit history capital one venture credit card promotion halifax credit card minimum payment amount virgin black credit card criteria apply visa credit card india credit cards with no credit checks instant approval pay lane bryant credit card credit card payoff calculator interest paid low rate credit card westpac goodyear tire credit card payment online free equifax credit score no credit card does td canada trust have visa debit cards what was the first credit card company in the us prepaid credit card paypal top up nationwide online loan quote best credit card for person with no credit history ways of reducing credit card debt southwest airlines credit card no annual fee list of credit card company in the philippines marriott rewards signature credit card login best 0 apr credit cards uk small business credit cards with rewards bad credit loan lenders online maybank online application for credit card free credit cards with no annual fee cash rewards credit cards reviews what are credit cards used for credit card payment calculator monthly interest walmart store card credit score instant online cash advance south africa 1 hour no credit check payday loans credit card promotions 2012 canada visa disney credit card canada best credit cards deals 2011 walgreens prepaid visa credit cards consumer reports best credit card rewards longest 0 interest credit card how do i get a credit card with bad credit canada chase marriott rewards credit card login 0 interest credit cards for bad credit credit card business process flow diagram how to get a cash advance on my credit card anz credit card balance transfer 0 td canada trust premium credit cards mastercard securecode halifax credit card debt help hdfc credit card payment status online punjab national bank apply for credit cards online delta airlines credit card review legitimate cash advance lenders need a loan to consolidate credit cards kohls credit card payments address best international credit card with no annual fee visa debit cards for bad credit list of payday loan lenders uk no credit check how to buy a house with bad credit in calgary mastercard credit card rental insurance credit cards for bad credit instant approval uk visa credit card for students bank of america top rated zero interest credit cards gold card barclays chase bank student credit card chase secure deposit credit card virgin credit card travelling abroad calculate credit card interest rate excel credit card number location mastercard best secured credit card to build credit fast 2013 no fee credit cards for poor credit master credit card apply how to get an unsecured credit card with no credit fbi credit card information form credit card search engine india credit card types visa mastercard amex credit card authorization form pdf apply for a visa credit card with no credit history device for iphone credit card payment credit card credit limit calculator india top credit card rewards 2013 citi corporate credit card payment visa card protection on debit cards no interest credit card transfer offers barclays credit card ppi refund 12 month bad credit loans no brokers hdfc credit card emi interest calculator best time of year to sign up for a credit card credit cards from citi? compare credit cards & apply online get a credit card with bad credit history unsecured credit cards bad credit no bank account home depot credit card application for business credit card apps for iphone best temporary credit card machine rental credit card merchant services comparison chart set up the credit card processing module for sage payment solutions do aldi accept credit cards uk
Home Biz of Baseball - Interviews Interview - Eric Fisher - Sports Business Journal

Like Shoot to Thrill - An AC/DC Tribute on Facebook!

An authentic tribute of AC/DC that covers the best of the Bon Scott era and the best of Brian Johnson's material

Who's Online?

We have 1377 guests online

Atom RSS

Interview - Eric Fisher - Sports Business Journal PDF Print E-mail
User Rating: / 7
Written by Maury Brown   
Thursday, 18 October 2007 05:00
Eric Fisher Interviews

If your interest lies in anything that has to do with sports outside the lines, then the trade magazine the Sports Business Journal and it’s counterpart, the Sports Business Daily are indispensable resources for keeping up with all manner of sports business.

When it comes to covering Major League Baseball as an industry, Eric Fisher has done as good a job as any for the SBJ and SBD.

Fisher started in the mid 1990s at a small daily paper in Easton, Md., as their business editor, managing the business and real estate pages during the day and ‘moonlighting’ at night covering Washington Bullets home games across the bridge in Landover.He went to The Washington Times in ’96 where he worked for two years as a general assignment writer on the business desk. During that time he covered the opening of the MCI Center and FedEx Field and the death of Jack Kent Cooke. In ’98, when the Washington Redskins went up for sale, he covered the story as essentially an every-day assignment for the next nine months through the closing of the record sale to Dan Snyder. On the heels of that saga, he transferred to the sports desk to create the paper’s new sports business beat, where he immediately got to work on the baseball-in-Washington story, but also covered plenty of other issues including the NHL lockout and Michael Jordan’s arrival to and departure from Washington.

Since coming on-board with the Sports Business Journal he has covered MLB extensively, including interviews with Commissioner Selig, the covering of the latest negotiations for the MLB Extra Innings television package, and a host of other issues surrounding baseball.

The following interview covers Selig’s legacy, the on-going issues surrounding MLB’s television black out policy, the upcoming sale of the Chicago Cubs, television ratings for the postseason, thoughts on MLB’s attendance, the Washington Nationals stadium development, and whether viewership on the East Coast is really impacted by late starting times for games in the West. - Maury Brown

Maury Brown for the Business of Sports Network: The Sports Business Journal selected Commissioner Selig as the Sports Executive of the Year, and you’ve interviewed him face-to-face. On his own, how much credit does Selig deserve for MLB’s current robust standing? Is Selig the driver, or is the atmosphere between the owners, and the MLBPA play a larger part?

Bid SeligEric Fisher: The premise of your question is interesting. Selig was, and in some circles still is, vilified – and to some degree fairly – for the ’94 strike, the imbalance of the late ‘90s, the contraction follies, the steroid issue, and so forth. But he gets much less credit for the positives that have occurred on his watch. And that strikes me as quite unfair. Selig is always going to have an uphill climb given that his public persona does not match that of a prototypical chief executive. And there are certainly a lot of other people also responsible for the current success the industry is enjoying, the union and its leadership included. But Bud definitely has not received enough credit for what’s happening. The generally strong level of unanimity we’re seeing among the owners, which in turn is helping fuel a lot of the growth we’re seeing, is the result of a lot of tough ground work on his part. And he’s become much more engaged with rightsholders to make their deals with baseball work year after year better rather simply accepting a check.

Bizball: Yourself and John Ourand covered the Extra Innings negotiations closer than any others. For the vast majority of the negotiations it seemed as if DirecTV would wind up with exclusive rights to the out-of-market game package. In the end, MLB wound up negotiating a very lucrative deal, both for EI, and the upcoming MLB Network. Do you feel that the outcome planned, or was it more of a case of MLB falling into a great deal?
Fisher: Baseball was plenty prepared to go it alone with DirecTV, at least for the short term. Remember, this thing was borne in part by a real frustration within MLB at the rather weak fashion in which cable had sold and marketed Extra Innings. So to that end, I don’t think anyone had the final accord planned out last fall when this was all getting ready to start. But I don’t think it was “falling into” this deal either. Comcast had to get fully engaged in the process to really get MLB’s respect and attention, and MLB had to make some concessions they hadn’t originally planned on, such as taking less upfront cash and redividing the equity in the channel. But there’s definitely no doubt the channel is in a very strong position as the launch approaches.
Fisher quote on broadcast territoriesBizball: MLB has requested that the owners re-evaluate their broadcast territories in an attempt to minimize issues that surround the league’s complex blackout policy. With the MLB Network coming online in 2009 as the largest cable channel launch in history, how much of an issue will the blackout policy create?
Fisher: The MLB brass has been rather tight-lipped about this of late. The answer that we’re going to have to get to eventually – teams giving up claims to certain markets – is obviously a lot easier said than done. What MLB will likely need to do is make an economic case to the clubs that the overall revenues from the MLB Network will ultimately overtake what is being lost on a local and regional level. That’s basically the argument that helped start MLB Advanced Media. The mindset requires patience and vision. But the current reality is so unsatisfactory that one has to hope that common sense prevails at some point.
Bizball: You may have been the first to report that the impending sale of the Chicago Cubs might hit $1 billion or more. There has been talk recently of the assets around the sale – Wrigley Field, a 25% stake in Comcast SportsNet Chicago, and Wrigley Field Premium Tickets. How do you foresee the sale occurring?
Fisher: Well, I actually wrote $800 million as a target figure back in the spring when the for-sale sign was first hung. It may bleed a little higher toward $1 billion. But that’s a rather large psychological barrier to cross, and when the deal is done, a lot to debt to carry. And make no mistake, that ballpark is going to need a lot of attention when the new owner finally gets the keys. That place has been cruising a bit on reputation in recent years rather than actual ballpark experience. And given the yeoman’s work the Red Sox ownership has done to Fenway, the bar is being substantially raised for what can and should be done in older ballparks. So if I had to hazard a guess – and this is just a guess since the financial books are just now going out to prospective bidders – I would say the deal comes in $900 million, maybe $925 million.
Bizball: Do you see anyone that might unseat John Canning, Jr. as the front runner to win the bid for the Cubs?
Fisher: No, I really don’t. He’s done an impressive job bringing in some potential rivals into his group. He obviously has the connections, the all-important Friend Of Bud tag, knows how the industry works, and perhaps most important, he’s kept his mouth shut. That matters a lot in these proceedings.
FIsher quote on MLB television ratingsBizball: Regular season television ratings at the regional and local level were extremely robust this year with 21 of the 29 clubs showing increases from the year prior. Yet, this postseason sees another dip in the ratings due to teams such as the Diamondbacks and Rockies in the NLCS. What does baseball and the networks need to do, if anything, to help get attention beyond the Red Sox and Yankees?
Fisher: This is something that’s really frustrated the league. For the past several years, basically every economic indicator from attendance and local TV ratings to merchandise sales, franchise values, Internet metrics and overall revenue has soared through the roof. But one high profile exception – national TV ratings for the LCS and World Series – has gone the other way, and it’s led some people to conclude the entire game is in crisis. It’s anything but. The playoff ratings have been sort of a weird black eye for baseball, and something that’s exposed some of the curiosities of the TV business, as well as some of the stiff sweeps-driven competition that the playoffs go up against.
Having said all that, MLB has been particularly focused this year on getting the playoff ratings back up. That started in January when Selig, his senior staffers and MLB’s executive council met for hours with executives from Fox and Turner to begin planning for the postseason. And it’s continued during the season as MLB started its playoff marketing earlier than ever, and Selig trumped up the World Series as a premier TV property at many opportunities. I don’t think it’s so much a Yankee-Red Sox thing. Any series with big markets and goes at or near the distance with plenty of dramatic moments is going to do fine. The Rockies are a tremendous story, but there’s no drama there now, at least not until the World Series.

Bizball: This season saw yet another record for attendance at both the minor league and major league levels. With several new stadiums set to come online that are smaller than their predecessors, will we continue to see a rise in attendance, or are we nearing a point where we’re nearing a peak?
Fisher on attendanceFisher: This is definitely a growing issue. Selig wants to get above 80 million in total attendance in 2008 and he should get there. But there were four clubs that sold more than 95 percent of their available seats this year, another four above 90 percent, and a handful of other beyond 80 percent. And with the Yankees and Mets both downsizing with the opening of their new stadiums in 2009, next season could be the biggest attendance number we see in quite a while.
Bizball: You covered the MLB to DC effort for the Washington Times before coming to the SBJ. What are your thoughts on how the process went and continues.
Fisher: I was just down for the final RFK Stadium game, and wrote about the state of the organization coming off that trip, and the thing that really struck me was how normal it all is now. They’re building the ballpark, and there are obviously many issues that have be sorted out as we get toward Opening Day, not the least of which is the parking and transportation plan. The roster remains a work in progress. But these are all issues that plenty of other teams face or has faced before, and in some cases, every other team faces. For far too long, this was a team and organization like no other, weird and unique for a whole lot of reasons, most of them negative. But there’s not really much difference now between the Nationals and a whole batch of other MLB teams. And after all the drama that happened, that’s a rather refreshing thing to see.
New Nationals BallparkBizball: It seems that the new Nationals ballpark will come online without a naming rights deal. Ownership wishes to reach an annual deal in the $8 million-$10 million range. Is the naming rights market thinning out, or will is a deal, such that the Nationals are looking to land seem well within reach?
Fisher: I don’t think the market is really thinning out. The issue, rather, is that the Nationals are going to market at the same time as lot of other big opportunities out there: the forthcoming Jets/Giants stadium, the Yankees’ package of entitlements that won’t include the stadium name but a lot of other major opportunities, the Jacobs Field renaming, and so forth. The college facility naming market also still has a lot going on. So if you’re running a major corporation that’s looking to do this sort of thing, you’re inevitably going to be kicking the tires on not only the Nationals’ ballpark, but some of these others, too. I still have confidence the Lerners and Kasten will get to that target number eventually. The question is how much media on MASN, the club’s Web site and so forth is baked into that number.

Bizball: The cover story that you and John Ourand did for the latest Sports Business Journal covers a topic that many baseball fans on the East Coast have followed: the late start of games, and how it supposedly is lowering television viewership, especially for the younger demographics. What did your research find?

The ratings data, over a period of years, shows that the later a game starts and finishes, the better rating – across all demographics with the exception of adults aged 55 and above. For MLB postseason specifically, ratings for all demos except the 55+ crowd went up after 11 p.m., and the World Series year after year gets 4 to 6 percent of its total viewing audience from viewers aged 11 and under. It’s a refrain the networks have been making for years, but it goes directly against the grain of East Coast columnist opinion claiming the late-night play is eroding youth interest in MLB. Baseball, already facing a higher societal standard than other sports, gets the brunt of heat on this issue since its postseason squares up against school nights more than most other properties. Basically what we have is a collision of two less-than-perfect methods of research – Nielsen’s sampling versus the tiny focus groups of one or two in the homes of each columnist decrying the playoff TV schedule.

 Interview conducted by Maury Brown on the week of 10/15/07

Edited by Maury Brown



Should MLB Force Jeffery Loria to Sell the Marlins?