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Thread: Random rant - What would it take to get the Pacers back on Broadcast TV?

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    Child Of Scorn MnvrChvy's Avatar
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    Angry Random rant - What would it take to get the Pacers back on Broadcast TV?

    I know everyone blames the brawl for the local disinterest the Pacers have seen over the last few years, but I've always felt that the move from channel 4 to FoxSports was just as much to blame. To me it seems that you are cutting yourself off from a large portion of the fanbase. In fact, it is the portion that usually gets more excited about local sports. I've always hoped they would suddenly figure all this out and reverse course so I could cut $100 a month out of my budget. As far as I can tell, there is nothing on cable TV currently that I would really miss except for the Pacers games.

    Can someone explain what made them make this decision in the first place and, more importantly, what it would take to get them to change back? I understand that cable networks are able to throw more money around, but it would seem that the overall impact on the franchise would negate that.

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    Default Re: Random rant - What would it take to get the Pacers back on Broadcast TV?

    Either a time machine, or some eccentric multibillionaire who's so obsessed with the Pacers being on broadcast television that he invests a very large chunk of his own money into making it happen.

  4. #3

    Default Re: Random rant - What would it take to get the Pacers back on Broadcast TV?

    A few more years of us finishing the season with a winning record and then going deep in the playoffs. It doesn't happen over night. I've recently canceled my cable and regretting it right now with the season coming up. I know how you feel.

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    Default Re: Random rant - What would it take to get the Pacers back on Broadcast TV?

    Fox Sports probably offered substantially more $ than WTTV for the broadcast rights. It's that simple.

    I don't know when our Fox Sports deal expires, but that's where the games will be until then. Then it goes to the highest bidder again. There's a very high chance that the Pacers won't be on free tv again.

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    Running with the Big Boys BillS's Avatar
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    Default Re: Random rant - What would it take to get the Pacers back on Broadcast TV?

    In reality, the move happened because CW began to require their affiliates to show regular programming in prime time. That means slots were not open on WTTV like when it was an independent station. That meant WTTV was unable to commit to the number of games necessary to make them a viable broadcast partner.

    This happened in a lot of markets, not just Indianapolis. Unlike football, which has both network support AND a regularly scheduled day (which "happened" to not already be filled with network-mandated programming), basketball and baseball require broadcast times that interfere with regular programming schedules. When WB (becoming CW) took the main independent station in many markets, there was no independent broadcast station available to show the games. It's why you find MLB on cable stations or Superstations (big independents).

    With the advent of digital TV where many stations have side channels, this could change back. I can see maybe having Pacer games on MyIndy, for instance, but that will be a whole new market and take some serious negotiating.
    BillS

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    Default Re: Random rant - What would it take to get the Pacers back on Broadcast TV?

    I can't think of any team that's on free television? Is WGN free in Chicago?
    "I've got an idea--an idea so smart that my head would explode if I even began to know what I'm talking about." - Peter Griffin

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    Administrator Unclebuck's Avatar
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    Default Re: Random rant - What would it take to get the Pacers back on Broadcast TV?

    Bill has explained it very well.

    IU basketball which always got much higher ratings than the Pacers when both were on WTTV, also is no longer on WTTV. WTTV is not what it used to be.

    As much as anything it is just the way it is - everything has moved to cable.

    20 years ago if you would have said Monday Night Football would be on ESPN, people would have not have believed it. if you would have said at least 1 of the Al or NL championship series would be on TBS, no one would have believed it. The college bowls are almost all on cable now. Almost all of the NBA playoffs are on cable.

    Locally almost everything has moved to cable - NHL, MLB and the NBA have generally all moved to cable .

    There is one huge upside to this for Pacers fans. WTTV used to carry about 20-25 Pacers games per year - never any home games and IU basketball got first crack (and maybe Purdue basketball did) So the pacers were an afterthought. Now we get every game on TV.

    So what is the downside?

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    Running with the Big Boys BillS's Avatar
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    Default Re: Random rant - What would it take to get the Pacers back on Broadcast TV?

    Quote Originally Posted by Unclebuck View Post
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    So what is the downside?
    I think the downside is that it makes it very difficult to grow a fan base among people who don't get cable, and even the people who DO get cable have to actively search for the games rather than just being able to stumble upon them. Heck, even people in the viewing area sometimes have to jump through hoops.

    Someone who can afford to spend $10 per person to take their kids to a game as a yearly special night out might still not be spending money on cable, meaning that night out doesn't really get presented as an option and the kids don't become fans who clamor to go to a game.

    There is a lot of upside to being on free and accessible TV, especially for a small market team where the demand isn't going to generate huge amounts of revenue by using pay TV.
    BillS

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    Administrator Unclebuck's Avatar
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    Default Re: Random rant - What would it take to get the Pacers back on Broadcast TV?

    Quote Originally Posted by BillS View Post
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    I think the downside is that it makes it very difficult to grow a fan base among people who don't get cable, and even the people who DO get cable have to actively search for the games rather than just being able to stumble upon them. Heck, even people in the viewing area sometimes have to jump through hoops.

    Someone who can afford to spend $10 per person to take their kids to a game as a yearly special night out might still not be spending money on cable, meaning that night out doesn't really get presented as an option and the kids don't become fans who clamor to go to a game.

    There is a lot of upside to being on free and accessible TV, especially for a small market team where the demand isn't going to generate huge amounts of revenue by using pay TV.
    OK, I understand that. But what is the value difference of having 25 road games on local free TV vs having 75 games on cable. I mean sure it would be better to have every game on free over-the air TV - I'm sure the pacers would love to be on WTHR - channel 13 every night. But that is never a possibility and now being on WTTV is not a possibility. The reality is it is either FSI or nothing. I wonder if FSI ceased to exist and no other cable entity picked up the pacers broadcast, I wonder if TTV4 or WXIN would cover any games. I suppose they might do 4 or 5 - Heat, Lakers, Celtics and Bulls games.

    I would ask how many people really don't have cable. Sure there are some, but it is a very small percentage .

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    Default Re: Random rant - What would it take to get the Pacers back on Broadcast TV?

    Quote Originally Posted by Unclebuck View Post
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    I would ask how many people really don't have cable. Sure there are some, but it is a very small percentage .
    Per this report (updated June 2012) total wired and unwired cable penetration nationally is 90% (can't find a statistic for Indianapolis SMSA).

    I understand that the 10% probably consists of inner-city or deep rural, but some of the kids growing up there will be the ones that become football fans when they get out because they could watch it as opposed to basketball or baseball which they could not.
    BillS

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    Member Granville's Avatar
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    Default Re: Random rant - What would it take to get the Pacers back on Broadcast TV?

    If I owned a professional sports franchise, I'd rather have 90% of the people get to see all of my games than 100% of the people get to see a quarter of the games.

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    Default Re: Random rant - What would it take to get the Pacers back on Broadcast TV?

    Quote Originally Posted by BillS View Post
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    Per this report (updated June 2012) total wired and unwired cable penetration nationally is 90% (can't find a statistic for Indianapolis SMSA).

    I understand that the 10% probably consists of inner-city or deep rural, but some of the kids growing up there will be the ones that become football fans when they get out because they could watch it as opposed to basketball or baseball which they could not.
    Advertisers typically don't care about reaching people that watch TV but don't have cable. It's a sign they may not have the disposable income to buy their products. Sure, teams may gain some extra fans who would attend games in the future but the ad revenue is much more important.

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    Default Re: Random rant - What would it take to get the Pacers back on Broadcast TV?

    I believe Chicago games are on local TV, Lakers games are definitely on local...other than that, I think everyone has some regional network like FSI.

    The money has to be astronomical for a local station. And, like it has been mentioned, the feasibility of getting all games aired is questionable. Until the Pacers pull in ratings like the Bulls/Lakers, affiliates won't be able to air a Pacers game drawing a 0.5 over a How I Met Your Mother re-run getting a 1.3 (Just a totally made up example).

    Not to mention, what happens to people outside of the viewing area of a local? You lose big markets like Fort Wayne if they can't get access to the channel and have to get league pass.

  19. #14

    Default Re: Random rant - What would it take to get the Pacers back on Broadcast TV?

    It has to do with ratings and ad revenue. More people watch American Idol, Glee, and all the other shows during prime time than would watch Pacer games. It's up to the local stations to offer the Pacers more money to get the rights to games. They won't because the stations already make more with other shows. WTTV usually had the lowest ratings of local stations so the Pacers games gave them something exclusive to help. CW came in with their requirements so it seems they don't have the opportunity to bid on the rights anymore.

    It's similar to why Monday Night Football moved to ESPN. Disney owns ABC and ESPN. If games were on ABC, sport fans wouldn't be watching whatever was on ESPN at the same time. They'd basically be wasting a station. With MNF games on ESPN, Disney doubles their revenue from the advertisements for sports fans watching ESPN and non-fans watching ABC.

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    Administrator Unclebuck's Avatar
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    Default Re: Random rant - What would it take to get the Pacers back on Broadcast TV?

    Lakers are going to all cable.

    http://articles.latimes.com/2011/feb...arner-20110215

    Time Warner Cable, Lakers strike 20-year TV deal


    The agreement, a huge blow to current rights-holders Fox Sports West and KCAL-TV, calls for the creation of two new regional sports channels and will start with the 2012-13 season.


    February 14, 2011|By Joe Flint





    Time Warner Cable has struck a game-changing TV deal with the Lakers to create two new regional sports channels — one in English and one in Spanish — that will use the world champions as their backbone.

    The 20-year agreement, which kicks off with the 2012-13 season, covers all preseason, regular-season and postseason games that are not nationally telecast.


    The agreement, a huge blow to current rights-holders Fox Sports West and KCAL-TV, calls for the creation of two new regional sports channels and will start with the 2012-13 season.


    February 14, 2011|By Joe Flint





    Time Warner Cable has struck a game-changing TV deal with the Lakers to create two new regional sports channels — one in English and one in Spanish — that will use the world champions as their backbone.

    The 20-year agreement, which kicks off with the 2012-13 season, covers all preseason, regular-season and postseason games that are not nationally telecast.


    The marriage of the Lakers and Time Warner Cable is a major blow to Fox Sports West and KCAL-TV, the current rights holders. It is also bad news for Lakers fans who don't subscribe to a pay-TV service, because no games will be available for free on over-the-air television once the Time Warner Cable deal takes effect. About 620,000 homes do not have a subscription to a pay-TV provider.

    There had been rumblings that the Lakers were looking to start their own channel or find a new partner when Time Warner Cable came calling soon after the exclusive negotiating window Fox Sports had with the Lakers expired at the end of last year.

    "The courtship happened quickly," said Tim Harris, senior vice president and chief marketing officer for the Lakers, who acknowledged the team did consider going solo on its own network.

    Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Under its deal with Fox Sports West, the Lakers were getting about $30 million a year in rights fees, people familiar with the situation said. Some industry observers pegged the new 20-year pact at a value of $3 billion, although Time Warner Cable dismissed that figure.

    In a statement, Fox Sports said it had made the Lakers an offer that "would have paid them one of the highest local TV rights fees in professional sports. We did not believe that going higher was in the best interest of our business or pay-TV customers in Los Angeles, who will bear the cost of this deal for years to come."


    A spokesman for KCAL said the loss of the Lakers will not stop the channel from making "local sports a big part of the station's identity."

    Broadcasters Joel Meyers and Stu Lantz, who handle all of the televised Lakers games, are employed by the team.

    Time Warner Cable, which has about 2 million subscribers in Southern California, isn't looking to stop with the Lakers. Melinda Witmer, executive vice president and chief programming officer of Time Warner Cable, said the company would be "looking at all available sports in the marketplace."

    Next on their wish list could be the Dodgers. The team's pact with Fox's Prime Ticket expires in 2013. The Angels also have a contract with Fox Sports West, but that arrangement has many years to run. Fox Sports also broadcasts the Kings and Ducks.
    According to court documents, Frank McCourt had intended to launch cable channels dubbed "DTV: Dodger Television" in English and Spanish. Dodgers spokesman Josh Rawitch declined to comment on how Monday's news might affect those plans.

    "It opens up a heck of a lot more what-ifs," said sports industry consultant Andy Dolich, a former top executive with the Oakland Athletics and Memphis Grizzlies.

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    Running with the Big Boys BillS's Avatar
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    Default Re: Random rant - What would it take to get the Pacers back on Broadcast TV?

    Quote Originally Posted by Unclebuck View Post
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    http://articles.latimes.com/2011/feb...arner-20110215

    Some industry observers pegged the new 20-year pact at a value of $3 billion, although Time Warner Cable dismissed that figure.
    Holy ****. If true, that means the local TV revenue for the Lakers would be twice the salary cap ALL BY ITSELF.
    BillS

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    Default Re: Random rant - What would it take to get the Pacers back on Broadcast TV?

    Quote Originally Posted by Unclebuck View Post
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    Lakers are going to all cable.

    http://articles.latimes.com/2011/feb...arner-20110215

    Time Warner Cable, Lakers strike 20-year TV deal

    Lots of Lakers fans can't get the games because their cable provider hasn't struck a deal with TWC to get the channel. Hell, Staples Center can't even get the channel because they run DirecTV.

  23. #18
    Jimmy did what Jimmy did Bball's Avatar
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    Default Re: Random rant - What would it take to get the Pacers back on Broadcast TV?

    Didn't Portland ownership, when trying to clean up their JailBlazers image, pledge a certain number of games to broadcast TV? Not sure if that still happens or not but obviously there is the possibility of a compromise. It's not like it has to be all or nothing for cable/satellite.
    Nuntius was right. I was wrong. Frank Vogel has retained his job.

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