I usually think Dan Shaughnessy is a pontificating blowhard, but I actually agree with his latest column.
Seems that the Red Sox have officially cut ties with Boston’s Channel 38 and now the games can only be seen on pay cable’s New England Sports Network (NESN). Now let me say first of all that I do have cable TV and I do get NESN. I love NESN. Jerry Remy is my Homeboy and all that. Howevah, as Shaughnessy so aptly points out, this decision “takes the team away from some loyal fans who don’t have the cash for cable. We tend to think we live in a world in which everybody has cable television and personal computer access. Well, it’s not everybody. In the Boston market, 6-7 percent of homes do not have cable television.”
Alright, so over 90% of homes in the Boston market do have access to cable T.V. So what is the harm in letting the local station have free broadcast rights every Friday. That’s one day per week. Tom Werner’s reply? “We don’t want to exclude people who can’t afford cable, but we don’t want to give free tickets to people, either.” He later added, “I don’t want you to portray me as insensitive.” Um, okay Tom.
The additional income to the Sox? Reportedly a mere $4 million per year. Four million dollars. That’s somethin’ like an extra few Hamiltons a year to you and me. And another nail in the coffin of what baseball is really all about.