I don't sense that much of the CH community is as frustrated as I am in regards to the TV broadcast schedule, so I might just be overreacting. That said, I find this completely unacceptable. Timberwolves fans have just endured two of the most agonizing and pathetic years in the history of pro basketball, then had to try to stomach a ridiculous labor dispute between equally arrogant and detached from the public parties of millionaires and billionaires. How does the team reward us? By taking 14 games of the SHORTENED NBA season off local TV.
I'm pissed.Did you know that every single Milwaukee Bucks game is on local TV in Wisconsin?
According to this survey. MSP is the 15th largest media market in the USA, MIL is 35th. Toss in the fact that the Wolves are just a flat out more popular and more buzz worthy team right now and explain why that team can give their fans every single game and ours takes away 14 of them? Glen Taylor has been given a cash flow increase from two sources, the NBA players and the big market owners via revenue sharing. I have not seen his financials, and by no means am I saying he's raking in $$ with the Wolves, but he is in a better spot than he was a year ago, and as the chairman of the NBA board of governors, he knew he would be. I was so worked up over this earlier this week that I actually emailed and called the team. I left Ted Johnson (Wolves CMO, who I was transferred to when I called) a voice mail calmly requesting a reasonable explanation. I believe he attempted to call me back, but I missed it and he didn't leave a voice mail. Rather than call him back, I sent him this email:
Good Afternoon Ted,
Earlier today I left you a voicemail regarding the TV broadcast
schedule. I think you just attempted to return my call, but I am at my
office and unable to answer my cell. Rather than engage in phone tag
with you (I'm sure you are very busy) I would very much appreciate a
response to this email.
My basic question: After a very hard to stomach lockout in which the
small market owners clearly received a cash flow increase from both
the players and fellow owners (through rev sharing), why should fans
be rewarded by being denied the opportunity to watch the team for 2
consecutive (plus more later this year) road games? I understand some
home games to help the box office, but road games? In 2012? When FSN
now has another channel? I find that unacceptable. I've been a die
hard, but I know many casual fans are trying to jump back in, and I
don't see how you can build the fanbase by doing this. I know
production costs are high and ads don't sell easy right now, but non
TV road games are still tough to understand.
1. Why aren't all road games on TV? Just production costs? Can't be a
hockey conflict every time.
2. Is it possible to add to the TV schedule mid-season? Will you?
Thank you for your time, I just want to watch your team.
Also: Expect to hear this alot this year from fans and media.
I sent a similar email to the team via their "contact us" page on timberwolves.com. I have not received a response to either.
I will admit the following:
I have no idea how much of this is FSN's fault, I'm aware they have contracts with the Wild and Gophers, it's possible the Wolves could not get some games on due to the networks other obligations (although they do finally have a second channel now).
Despite the recent buzz, I have no doubt that production costs outweigh ad sales. Tough, take the hit, this is the Pros.
Some of the weaker home games would be more understandable, I realize that the box office needs some help. No road game should ever be dark in 2012 after a lockout in my opinion.
Assuming the team stays popular this year (I think it will) this will be a bigger story as the year goes along and more games are dark. In the last two years we have missed Kevin Love's 31/31 game and Ricky Rubio's first NBA start (crappy game as it was). Will we miss a 20 assist game from him as well? I find that insulting as a fan, and I want an explanation from the team.
Am I getting too worked up or is this not insane?