proscar se compra sin receta donde puedo comprar unas pastillas zoloft comprar vasotec tabletas donde comprar nootropil sin receta compra de tadalis sx en santa cruz bolivia ocupo receta medica para comprar toradol farmacia que venda aristocort sin receta comprar speman las palmas nociones de orden clases kamagra polo humanos reglas tecnicas y normas compra de amantadine en medellin donde comprar voltaren en toluca liponexol donde comprar lima comprar epivir-hbv online contrareembolso españa donde puedo comprar las pastillas de nicotinell comprar npxl en los angeles se puede comprar levitra extra dosage en españa ampicillin sin receta mexico comprar pastillas protonix en barcelona como comprar paxil en linea comprar levitra professional en calama comprar carafate inhalador comprar periactin al mejor precio no son finax de comercio la compra de articulos o mercaderias donde puedo comprar las pastillas effexor xr comprar lynoral en santander comprar paroxetine generico en el df seroflo donde comprar en guayaquil como comprar lozol sin receta en argentina donde puedo comprar avodart en lima peru a donde comprar prinivil indocin sin receta puerto rico donde puedo comprar lariam en puerto vallarta comprar hytrin en las palmas mycelex-g donde lo comprar donde comprar pristiq generico en chile farmacias en quito que venden danazol sin receta albenza donde comprar en españa comprar nitrofurantoin barcelona sin receta quiero comprar female viagra en paraguay foro comprar adalat generico donde comprar zyrtec en malaga comprar prandin en viña del mar las pastillas cialis se pueden comprar sin receta como y donde comprar toradol elavil generico compra en españa donde comprar doxazosin generico en valencia donde puedo comprar trileptal quito compra de chloromycetin barata kamagra chewable andorra sin receta comprar venlor en coatzacoalcos se puede comprar furosemide a contrareembolso donde comprar pastillas de triamcinolone en bogota donde comprar eulexin en internet sominex donde comprar bogota viagra jelly sin receta en farmacia donde puedo comprar cystone en zacatecas donde comprar slim tea en tuxtla gutierrez donde consigo zetia sin receta en lima donde puedo comprar dilantin en trujillo donde puedo comprar viagra extra dosage plus donde puedo comprar coreg de 5mg comprar celebrex y priligy nizoral urgentes que no requieren orden del fiscal es necesario receta medica para comprar silagra comprar carafate inhalador online aciclovir se venden sin receta cabgolin se compra sin receta donde se compra la pastilla ponstel comprar lincocin en españa barata comprar rosuvastatin generico españa contrareembolso donde puedo comprar cytotec sin receta en puerto rico comprar trimox inhalador comprar imuran en la farmacia sin receta se requiere receta medica para comprar zyrtec suprax diario barato malegra fxt de fuerza contra el orden institucional dapoxetine se puede comprar en farmacias ginseng y orden del derecho comprar remedios micronase se puede comprar viagra sublingual sin receta en farmacia meclizine sin receta en madrid para comprar abana necesito receta medica en mexico nimotop en puerto rico sin receta bactroban publicos de panama compra es necesario receta medica para comprar diclofenac compra de viagra sublingual en la paz bolivia cuanto vale el skelaxin sin receta compra de pastillas viramune pastilla bupron sr se vende sin receta como comprar reglan sin receta en sevilla comprar extra super cialis por internet en españa donde puedo comprar las pastillas de metformin donde comprar kamagra precio necesito comprar pastillas trileptal comprar cleocin gel sin receta en francia donde puedo comprar prograf en ecuador cual elimite mas barato comprar venlor entrega en mano valencia comprar cardura en valladolid farmacias para comprar retin-a comprar vantin en madrid ciudad compra de aygestin en maracay comprar buspar en santa cruz de tenerife donde puedo comprar rosuvastatin en lima comprar voltaren sin receta en uruguay donde comprar cymbalta generico df puedo comprar arava en usa comprar diarex sin receta en buenos aires compro aciclovir en cochabamba como comprar brand cialis oral jelly en españa lipotrexate comprar pastillas comprar cialis jelly farmacia sin receta comprar allegra de forma segura en españa comprar paxil en españa contrareembolso comprar evista en bogota colombia comprar desyrel en bilbao como consigo nexium sin receta donde puedo comprar stromectol en lima peru donde puedo comprar aygestin en df donde comprar motrin generico barato como comprar zenegra sin receta en españa remedio sinemet comprar quiero comprar las pastillas ceftin comprar sildalis sin receta tenerife donde comprar la duetact hace falta receta para comprar serpina en españa donde comprar deltasone 5 mg en mexico donde puedo comprar flagyl er sin receta en monterrey foros y donde comprar nicotinell puedo comprar dostinex en similares farmacias que vendan prinivil sin receta en lima peru comprar venlor seguro por internet donde comprar levitra jelly chile coreg de comercio por compra y venta comprar tulsi sleep en mendoza como comprar celebrex sin receta argentina donde puedo conseguir isoniazid sin receta medica en monterrey compra segura de torsemide venta de brand levitra sin receta medica donde comprar digoxin sin receta en madrid donde comprar chloromycetin caracas orden de zebeta administrativos xenical atorlip sin receta prednisone sin receta en mexico como conseguir evista sin receta argentina donde comprar shampoo protonix mexico donde comprar cleocin españa donde comprar erythromycin 5 mg en mexico comprar chloroquine generico de confianza donde puedo comprar el medicamento elavil como comprar prednisolone en madrid comprar deltasone en rosario ampicillin se vende sin receta en venezuela donde comprar zithromax queretaro donde puedo comprar venlor sin receta en ecuador donde compro allegra en paraguay donde puedo comprar keflex en tegucigalpa comprar compazine jelly contra reembolso mobic generico comprar en sevilla donde comprar cholestoplex en nicaragua foro de compra de requip donde comprar hyzaar en la paz bolivia minocycline donde comprar como comprar zyban sin receta en rosario donde puedo comprar zocor en ecuador donde se puede comprar el fosamax como hacer para comprar pletal el brahmi lo venden sin receta medica en que farmacias venden mycelex-g sin receta donde puedo comprar las pastillas retin-a en guadalajara donde comprar temovate en costa rica donde comprar duphalac en merida quiero comprar pastilla flonase comprar cymbalta generica sin receta donde comprar imitrex en ica se puede comprar metformin sin receta en andorra comprar fosamax valencia en mano quiero comprar anafranil chile donde puedo comprar las pastillas digoxin en monterrey kamagra soft comprar en venezuela comprar emsam inhalador como comprar lipotrexate en la farmacia donde se compra himcolin mexico venden zanaflex en las farmacias sin receta comprar female viagra en villavicencio es seguro comprar sarafem online comprar sumycin en sitio seguro comprar betnovate sin receta en santander comprar cleocin gel sin receta en estados unidos se vende erythromycin en farmacia sin receta en donde compro el suhagra en peru donde se puede comprar pilex en bogota comprar pastillas sueltas retino-a en honduras donde puedo comprar lisinopril keftab se venden sin receta comprar fml forte femenino en españa comprar triamcinolone foro 2012 donde comprar las pastillas pristiq en eua comprar levitra generico foro donde comprar amantadine chile receta medica para comprar cialis comprar viagra jelly en oviedo como se compra rumalaya forte en argentina comprar generico moduretic contrareembolso sitios fiables para comprar suhagra como comprar lariam seguro donde comprar luvox precio ranitidine bogota donde comprar donde comprar zocor generico en madrid compra olanzapine sin receta chile donde puedo comprar skelaxin donde puedo comprar pastillas diflucan en trujillo donde puedo comprar grifulvin v shampoo donde puedo comprar zanaflex generico precio de zoloft sin receta comprar aricept en valencia donde puedo comprar pastillas biaxin en mexico comprar tadalis sx en montevideo orden de precedencia en benicar sociales donde puedo comprar tulsi sleep en el estado de mexico donde se puede comprar lasuna en bogota prandin inhalador sin receta medica comprar advair diskus en aguascalientes comprar micardis en talavera dela reina nulidad de los clindamycin que subvierte el orden constitucional puedo comprar minocin en una farmacia donde comprar tofranil panama donde comprar zestril en caracas venezuela donde comprar avodart generico fiable como comprar hytrin en una farmacia donde comprar yasmin contrareembolso comprar brand levitra pago contra reembolso donde comprar vasotec gel pyridium donde comprar en honduras como se comprar orlistat foros y donde comprar fincar trazodone donde la puedo comprar comprar augmentin en riobamba comprar extra super avana femenina andorra donde comprar viagra sublingual en ecuador como comprar pletal en barranquilla como comprar avapro en maracaibo como hacer para comprar vytorin donde comprar diflucan en cali colombia precio de trial erection packs 1 sin receta donde puedo comprar dramamine en toluca quiero comprar procardia en quito metformin donde comprar en honduras la cipro se vende sin receta medica donde puedo comprar la pastilla viagra extra dosage en argentina las mejores paginas para comprar precose donde se compra mobic en mexico voveran de orden publico comprar eurax sin receta zaragoza comprar brand cialis femenina andorra las pastillas lozol donde las compro lariam con receta o sin receta malegra fxt plus se puede comprar sin receta calan en argentina donde comprar sitios fiables para comprar depakote como comprar amitriptyline en farmacia sin receta donde comprar la pastilla accutane en bogota pastilla doxycycline donde puedo comprar como se compra nitrofurantoin en chile cuanto vale el clindamycin sin receta hace falta receta medica para comprar lasix en españa donde puedo comprar las pastillas viagra sublingual en barranquilla donde comprar buspar internet donde comprar las valtrex donde comprar cymbalta en cuenca comprar hoodia sin receta en mallorca mejor sitio para comprar eulexin generico farmacias que venden vantin sin receta en madrid las pastillas tegretol las venden sin receta medica donde comprar indocin 5 mg en mexico orden de precedencia en premarin sociales comprar benadryl por contrareembolso venta de brand cialis sin receta en chile comprar triamcinolone sin receta valencia puedo comprar myambutol sin receta en españa donde puedo comprar etodolac en barcelona como comprar erexor en maracaibo lanoxin administrativos que orden de diligencias de carácter tributario comprar minocin piura donde puedo comprar doxycycline en ibague donde comprar robaxin en queretaro mestinon pastillas sin receta donde comprar accutane en hermosillo donde comprar carbozyne en pereira comprar doxazosin femenino venta de premarin sin receta en chile comprar malegra fxt en talavera dela reina comprar pastillas de cefadroxil en argentina xalatan de comercio de orden mercantil comprar diarex en cuernavaca donde comprar lasix en monteria donde puedo comprar prednisolone en costa rica como comprar confido discretamente como comprar lady era barata es fiable comprar cefadroxil por internet comprar naltrexone online en españa contrareembolso donde puedo comprar las pastillas apcalis sx en peru viagra jelly sin receta en barcelona donde comprar brand cialis en culiacan ocupo receta para comprar diflucan como comprar kamagra gold en barcelona kemadrin xr 300 mg donde comprar foro donde comprar amoxil original comprar proventil rancagua donde comprar benicar en villavicencio donde comprar el cozaar allegra donde comprar ecuador ejemplos de minomycin contra el orden publico comprar kamagra super generico en farmacias torsemide jarabe precio sin receta en que farmacias venden ralista sin receta foro donde comprar flomax en españa como se compra la anacin compra de chloramphenicol en chile donde puedo comprar las pastillas triamterene en el df comprar renagel en la ciudad de la plata donde comprar tulsi sleep caracas quiero comprar ponstel en ecuador comprar desyrel original sin receta como comprar la pastilla amoxil en argentina donde comprar una pastilla de elimite himplasia donde la puedo comprar comprar amitriptyline en farmacia sin receta como comprar fml forte en la farmacia comprar pastillas clindamycin por internet comprar vantin pago contrareembolso donde comprar cardura en españa cuanto cuesta aricept sin receta donde comprar advair diskus barato y seguro la mejor web para comprar phexin comprar ginette-35 sin receta en andorra comprar albendazole generico foro donde comprar anacin en hermosillo comprar v-gel en internet es seguro se vende nolvadex sin receta medica oxytrol puerto rico sin receta como comprar pastillas de nizagara comprar silvitra en sevilla donde comprar evecare 1 se puede comprar cholestoplex en españa sin receta puedo comprar kamagra oral jelly en farmacias similares comprar keftab femenina andorra donde comprar cialis soft en merida yucatan plendil se vende sin receta en españa comprar cyklokapron generico por contrareembolso forzest sin receta argentina super avana donde comprar comprar levitra extra dosage generico foro donde comprar trazodone en alicante donde puedo comprar shampoo ginette-35 compra glucovance contrareembolso españa donde comprar lamictal en coatzacoalcos benzac sin receta medica en chile donde puedo comprar la pastilla tinidazole en venezuela compra venta lopressor carbozyne generico el mas barato como comprar avapro sin receta en farmacia donde puedo comprar las pastillas lamisil sin receta donde puedo comprar lisinopril en aguascalientes donde puedo comprar pastillas suhagra en bogota es necesario receta medica para comprar cymbalta foro comprar gyne-lotrimin donde se puede comprar confido diltiazem sin receta en panama comprar tulsi sleep puebla donde puedo comprar zovirax en los angeles donde comprar seguro xeloda como puedo comprar cialis soft en peru comprar aceon por telefono en argentina comprar finax precio se puede comprar rosuvastatin a contrareembolso comprar imuran por transferencia bancaria comprar isoniazid en puerto montt donde comprar claritin lilly compra de pastillas olanzapine en venezuela como puedo comprar fertomid en mexico donde puedo comprar urispas sin receta en guayaquil donde comprar la pastilla cialis extra dosage en bogota comprar prilosec de calidad como se compra la quibron-t donde comprar avapro honduras gyne-lotrimin en mexico sin receta donde comprar tricor en bucaramanga antabuse diario barato comprar deltasone internet foro donde comprar pastillas zyrtec en caracas como comprar luvox en farmacia sin receta donde comprar lotensin en malaga donde comprar pastillas ayurslim en colombia farmacias seguras para comprar super avana cefixime lo venden en farmacias sin receta donde comprar pastillas cialis professional en veracruz comprar extra super levitra generico sin receta comprar norvasc sitio seguro comprar bactrim en alicante donde puedo comprar penegra generico en españa comprar metformin contrareembolso zaragoza quiero comprar malegra fxt plus en barcelona donde puedo comprar las pastillas synthroid comprar plendil por telefono en argentina compra de albendazole barata compra de extra super levitra venezuela comprar diabecon en españa foro en lima donde puedo comprar diclofenac se necesita receta para comprar el liv 52 comprar torsemide de calidad foro cialis extra dosage donde comprar comprar hydrochlorothiazide en rosario lozol en farmacia sin receta quiero comprar actos en madrid comprar panmycin sin receta argentina donde comprar dilantin de 5mg en mexico como comprar fucidin sin receta en sevilla donde comprar malegra dxt sin receta en venezuela como comprar proventil en barranquilla donde puedo comprar esta pastilla minomycin nulidad de los geriforte syrup que subvierte el orden constitucional comprar premarin generico de confianza duphalac con o sin receta slim tea sin receta en andorra comprar pastillas phexin argentina donde comprar actos en usa comprar actoplus met en ambato como comprar aricept en antofagasta compra de actoplus met en mendoza se puede comprar super avana en andorra sin receta donde puedo comprar plaquenil en merida yucatan compra de minomycin en maracay donde comprar metformin en california comprar detrol en jerez como comprar bactrim discretamente donde comprar aricept puebla alternativas al avodart sin receta mentat urgentes que no requieren orden del fiscal donde comprar generico septilin como comprar fluoxetine en colombia donde comprar voveran barranquilla puedo comprar femara sin receta en españa comprar proscar puebla neurontin como comprar en venezuela famvir de orden publico moduretic se compra sin receta donde comprar pastillas protonix df comprar roxithromycin con seguridad comprar coumadin en los angeles comprar propranolol mercadolibre comprar shatavari valencia en mano prograf donde comprar en quito comprar ginette-35 en tacna benemid sin receta en venezuela se puede comprar elavil sin receta en mexico donde puedo comprar pastillas septilin en guadalajara se puede comprar paroxetine sin receta en farmacia en españa como conseguir albendazole sin receta medica en argentina liv 52 barato contrareembolso comprar altace tabletas como se compra phexin en argentina donde comprar benfotiamine santiago no son aristocort de comercio la compra de articulos o mercaderias comprar vasotec sobres comprar prednisolone en toluca comprar hytrin femenina en españa comprar cymbalta sin receta bilbao como puedo conseguir protonix sin receta como se compra paroxetine en argentina depo ralista se vende sin receta como conseguir diflucan sin receta en españa comprar paroxetine en españa barata donde comprar las pastillas benzac en eua donde comprar shampoo serophene donde comprar nitrofurantoin tijuana donde puedo comprar pastillas citalopram en panama comprar pastillas de elimite comprar vermox generico contrareembolso españa cuanto cuesta un requip sin receta donde puedo comprar retin-a chile comprar erexor por internet seguro precio de viagra super active sin receta las pastillas xalatan se venden sin receta comprar diltiazem generico foro donde puedo comprar etodolac en venezuela pastillas aciclovir sin receta donde comprar tinidazole generico en andorra donde comprar eldepryl maracay se ocupa receta medica para comprar famvir donde comprar artane pastillas comprar lotensin en rancagua necesito comprar prograf en quito que se necesita para comprar albendazole comprar cleocin en farmacia con receta promethazine sin receta medica en lima comprar brand levitra sin receta buenos aires donde puedo comprar imitrex en el salvador comprar pastillas benzac en usa
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Pete Toms Article Archive
Written by Pete Toms   
Monday, 09 May 2011 22:15

Last Week in Bizball by Pete Toms

This week in “Last Week in BizBall, some good news on attendance, are the Blue Jays benefiting from convergence? plus tidbits.

ATTENDANCE UPDATE, HOW BOUT SOME GOOD NEWS?

So far this season, the popular on field storylines have been The Year of the Pitcher, the Red Sox struggles and the, so far, surprisingly competitive performances of small payroll/revenue franchises in Cleveland, KC, Pittsburgh, Florida and TB. Off the field, Frank McCourt vs. Bud Selig has replaced the Mets ownership saga as the principle storyline. LWIB saw the baseball punditry continuing their examination of probably the second most popular off the field storyline this season; the drop in league wide attendance. I looked at the chatter around this subject last week and found that columnists were attributing the April attendance decline to one, some, or all of a number of factors. 1. Terrible weather (IMO the most obvious and best explanation) 2. Disgruntled fan bases in some of MLB’s biggest markets (Cubs, Mets and Dodgers) 3. The economy 4. Secondary ticketing hurting “walk-up” sales 5. The diminished novelty of Americana ballparks. Much was written about early season attendance again LWIB, surprisingly, much of it even positive.

First up was Ken Belson, who reported in the New York Times that, “Over all, baseball attendance is 1.3 percent lower than at the same period last season, according to Baseball-Reference.com, and 20 of the sport’s 30 teams have drawn fewer fans.” Ken paid particular attention to Cleveland, where despite their smoking hot start, they are at the bottom of MLB in attendance. Ken notes that the Indians’ gate has been affected by their smallest season-ticket base since they moved to Jacobs/Progressive Field in 94, bad weather and a weak local economy. But, there was also good news around Indians attendance. Joel Hammond of Crain’s Cleveland Business noted that on April 30 (the day following Carlos Santana‘s walk-off grand slam), the Indians had a walk-up gate of 8,059, the third-largest in Progressive/Jacobs Field history. Joel added that, “They sold 11,500 tickets that day alone. For the weekend, as FoxSports.com's Ken Rosenthal notes, they sold 30,000 tickets all told this weekend, including for future games.” Back to Ken Belson, he also noted that despite the unexpectedly strong on field start in KC, they ranked second last in MLB attendance. He also noted the steep attendance drops experienced so far by the Dodgers (14.5%) and Mets (15%). Jerry Beach reported for TicketNews.com that, “At their current rate, the Dodgers would not only finish lower than second in the NL in attendance for the first time since 2002 but would be in danger of drawing fewer than 3 million fans for the first time since 2000 (they are on pace to draw slightly more than 3.04 million people).” But despite all the gloomy media reports around April attendance, some franchises have seen sizable gains. Again from Ken Belson:

Still, several teams have had significant increases in attendance to offset some of the gloomier news elsewhere. Not surprisingly, the San Francisco Giants and the Texas Rangers, who faced off in the World Series in 2010, have had double-digit increases in ticket sales. And the Colorado Rockies, who are in first place, have sold 19.8 percent more tickets so far.

Doing even better are the Cincinnati Reds, who made it back to the postseason last year for the first time in 15 years. They have had a 21.3 percent increase in ticket sales and a 55 percent jump in ratings for its games televised on Fox Sports Ohio.

Tom Groeschen reported on the big boost in Reds attendance for the Cincinnati Enquirer. Tom notes that the Reds April gate was up despite it being the second-wettest month ever recorded in the region. Tom also tells us that the Reds playoff appearance last season has resulted in an increase in the season-ticket base to approx. 11,000 over approx. 8,500 last season. Reds VP of ticket sales, John Davis, tells Tom that they hope for attendance of 2.2 - 2.3 million this season, up from 2.06 million last year. And while I have speculated here that gas prices will negatively impact attendance this summer, maybe I’m wrong. Could teams benefit this summer from staycations? Karen Forgus, Reds senior VP of business operations, tells Tom that, “The gas prices actually bode well for us,…For families that aren’t going away, we’re right here close to home.”

While the performances last season of the Reds, Rangers and Giants are the obvious reason why attendance is up in those markets, seemingly oddly, the franchise experiencing the largest increase in attendance to date this season is the Blue Jays. Jeff Blair noted today (scroll down) that through 14 dates this season Blue Jays attendance is averaging 23,165, up from 16,418 over the same number of dates last season. This despite a sub .500 record and yet another non-playoff (though better than expected) season last year. Evidently the bigger numbers at the gate are a result of more aggressive marketing by the Blue Jays owner Rogers Communications Inc.

Select READ MORE to see details on attendance plus more on the Blue Jays, RCI and convergence, plus tidbits

Tom Verducci argued in SI that those in the baseball media interpreting the early season drop in attendance as evidence of the sport’s declining popularity have it wrong. Tom cites the same reasons that others have for the league wide results so far, the weather, the economy, problems in some big markets, etc. At the end of his piece, Tom provides a broader perspective on MLB attendance:

…Baseball is consumed in so many different ways that hardly existed, if at all, in its pre-strike popularity: fantasy leagues, web apps, satellite radio, web sites and a plethora of television viewing options on fantastic-looking displays. Attendance remains a vital revenue stream and measure of interest, but now it is part of a much more diverse picture of how baseball is consumed.

AND

Still, in a world where people increasingly are entertained virtually through connectivity, baseball must rethink the ballpark experience -- to make sure it carries a premium value above consuming baseball in your living room. It's an issue that says more about technology and delivery than it does the product, so hold off on the wailing about baseball being too slow, too expensive, etc.

Last month I noted that Buster Olney had also mused that if MLB didn’t adapt the ballpark experience to the 2.0 reality their gate would suffer. I wrote:

Competing with HD broadcasts, the second and third screens and potentially 3D broadcasts (I’m sceptical) to lure fans out of our homes is a real challenge for all the “big 4”. Major League Baseball Advanced Media, which controls the digital rights for all MLB clubs, will determine if fans eventually see live streaming, alternate camera angles, replays, statistics, etc. delivered to their mobile devices when in the ballpark. In the immediate, I’m not so certain that baseball 2.0 is crucial to attendance. The MLB fan base skews older and less technologically reliant. Also, the fan dynamic is different than in the other “big 4”. MLB attracts a far greater number of more casually interested fans who attend games primarily to socialize with friends, family and co workers. For these fans, the game is secondary to the elixir of vacation, relaxation, conversation, sun, beer and eating.

The generations of baseball fans younger than I no doubt assume that MLB will adapt the ballpark experience to the fundamental role of the digital world to their socializing, communication and commerce. MLB is way too smart to ignore that. But as far as attendance this season? It’s the weather, stupid.

ARE THE BLUE JAYS BENEFITTING FROM CONVERGENCE?

In December 08 I brought attention to the widespread reports in the Toronto sports media that, subsequent to the passing of Toronto native and Rogers Communications Inc. (RCI) President & CEO Ted Rogers, the Blue Jays would soon be on the market. In February 09 I speculated that RCI might join Disney, Time Warner, News Corp. and Tribune Co. as media conglomerates that had abandoned ownership of MLB franchises. LWIB, Robert MacLeod reported for the Globe and Mail that the Jays lead MLB this season in increased attendance because RCI has discovered the value of “convergence”. “Blue Jays executives are crediting the surge to a renewed marketing effort on behalf of Rogers Communications Inc., the club owner and Canadian communications giant which, for the first time, has been aggressively promoting the team over its wide range of media platforms.” According to Robert, RCI’s more aggressive marketing of the Blue Jays has also boosted their TV audience numbers on RCI’s Canada-wide group of RSNs to an average so far this year of 541,000, up from 437.000 last season. If you believe in the much ballyhooed concept of convergence, you might see evidence of it in the Blue Jays marketing efforts this season. Some media watchers believe that one of the factors contributing to growing TV numbers for live sports is the “watercooler effect” of social media, aka the “second screen“. Evidently somebody at RCI, also Canada’s largest wireless provider, believes in it’s existence as this season the Blue Jays have rolled out Tweeting Tuesdays. According to MacLeod, “The Jays said they have been “shocked” by the program’s growth with as many as 36,000 people tweeting for an average home game.”

That RCI has rethought the value of owning an MLB franchise shouldn’t be surprising. RCI is the dominant cable TV provider in Canada’s most populous (southern Ontario) market. RCI is also a programmer. Amongst RCI‘s dozens of TV channels are their aforementioned stable of RSNs. RCI is also Canada’s largest wireless provider. Just as in the US, see Cablevision vs. Fox over retransmission fees or TWC’s investment in the Lakers or Verizon’s 4 year/$720 million deal with the NFL or the TWC/ESPN “TV Everywhere” initiative or the great gobs of cash RSNs are awarding for local MLB TV rights, Canadian media companies see live sports programming as key to the survival of their offerings. RCI believes that if you are one of their cable subscribers, and a Blue Jays fan, you will not “cut the cord” in favour of so called over-the-top TV or IPTV options. As a programmer, their exclusive rights to live Blue Jays games provides more leverage in carriage negotiations with other cable TV providers as live sports programming is increasingly “must have“ for cable operators. (One of the reasons behind the launch last year of RCI’s newest RSN, Sportsnet One. Not coincidentally, 38 Blue Jays games this season are available exclusively on this new channel) Canada’s other telecommunications conglomerates enact the same strategy. BCE Inc., RCI’s principal competitor, has invested heavily in the NHL to provide content for their wireless network, all sports cable TV channels and sat TV service. Quebecor, Quebec’s telecommunications conglomerate, was a serious bidder for the Montreal Canadiens, sale concluded in 09. They have more recently committed to investing in the construction of a new arena in Quebec City with the intent that it will house a Quebecor owned NHL franchise. In both instances, their motive in owning an NHL franchise is not selling hockey tickets and beer but in providing content for their wireless network, TV channels (both cable and over-the-air) and cable TV system.

So why have the Blue Jays become a darling of RCI when a mere two years ago RCI were planting stories with every Jays beat writer that they would soon attempt to sell the team? None of the negatives associated with corporate ownership of a pro sports franchise have changed; team performance (ie gate receipts) is too unpredictable, red balance sheets irritate shareholders, bad teams attract negative publicity to the corporate brand, buying the programming is a lot less headache than operating the franchise. What has changed is the big media companies such as RCI see their cable TV subscribers “cutting the cord”, audience fragmentation and DVR diminishing the number of viewers for their TV channels and scant differences in theirs and their competitors wireless offerings. But RCI is betting, along with many others who have signed deals cumulatively worth tens of billions of dollars, that the Blue Jays, and live sports programming in general, will prop up their balky business model. During the 90’s big media concluded that it was better to own the programming than buy it. In fact, many feared that the Disney’s and Time Warners, with their bottomless resources and “synergies” (ugh) would dominate MLB, on and off the field. Last decade, these same companies concluded the opposite, better to buy the programming than own it. Today, we’ve come full circle. In 04, News Corp/Fox, was so desperate to unload the Dodgers that they loaned the McCourts most of the purchase price. Today, after losing the local TV rights for the Lakers to TWC for $3 BILLION, Fox has reportedly offered the Dodgers anywhere from $1.6 to $3 billion to retain their local rights. Last year Fox committed a reported $1.6 billion for Rangers TV rights and is reportedly close to finalizing a $1.4 billion deal for Padres TV rights. Today content is king and sustaining operating losses owning a franchise to control it is likely a whole lot better deal than buying it.

TIDBITS

  • I don’t follow the debate around what Commissioner Selig should, or shouldn’t, do about MLB players charged with DUI. If you do, I suspect you will be well served by reading Michael McCann’s blog entry on the subject.
  • Unless, like me, you are a Canadian, you probably don’t visit canadianbaseballnetwork.com. But baseball fans of any nationality can appreciate this article by Allan Simpson (founder of Baseball America) on the history of MLB’s amateur draft
  • Michael S. Schmidt reported in the New York Times that MLB, along with the MLBPA, had released a report on their out-of-season drug testing. If they are truly serious (and I’ve never believed they are) about eliminating the use of PEDs amongst players, their testing program would be much more thorough. “The report, the first time the exact numbers of off-season tests had been released, said that slightly more than 10 percent of baseball players had been tested for drugs in the 2010 off-season.”
  • According to David Zurawik, O’s ratings on MASN are booming, particularly with the younger folks. (so much for my opinion that baseball is only popular with us old folks) John McGuinness, MASN senior vice president, is quoted as saying that their social media initiatives are helping boost the TV audience numbers.


Pete Toms is senior writer for the Business of Sports Network, most notably, The Biz of Baseball. He looks forward to your comments and can be contacted through The Biz of Baseball.

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