Friday, March 7, 2014

New Crew TV Deal, Time Warner

Much to the chagrin of about half the households in the Columbus area and nearby cities that have Fox Sports Ohio, Time Warner Cable Sports Channel will be the new broadcast partner of the Crew for the next few years. (link)

In a statement to Adam Jardy (link) and the Columbus Dispatch, Fox Sports Ohio (FSO) said the following:

"We think FOX Sports is the right home for the Columbus Crew. Unfortunately, we were unable to come to terms with the Crew on a renewal that made sense for our business. We wish them well."

The reaction from fans in central Ohio has been overwhelmingly negative. Along with a good percentage of the fans now not able to watch games that could previously, the games will also be blacked out locally on MLS Live.


As things stand now the Crew will lose the exposure FSO gave them to larger cities in the midwest region. They also lose a channel that was on multiple cable and satellite providers. Even if fans of the Indians, Reds, Cavs or even Chuck's Last Call didn't watch the Crew, at least they were exposed to the team indirectly.

On top of that, staying with FSO would have created continuity and help build regular viewership. From a business ops perspective the Crew need continuity, if for nothing else just so they are able to measure organic growth.

This deal feels like something fans would have liked in the 90s - but not now, not with people use to getting sports when they want and how they want. Half the Crew fans out there have every right to be upset. The team has taken something from them that they once had.

The wrong thing to do is to put up more barriers between you and your customers. On top of that, Cable is a dying industry and some of her last gasps of air are buying rights to live sports. It's surprising to me that this was an option for the Crew.

Words of comfort for frustrated fans; The market has a way of sorting things out, she always does. If it is truly a bad deal then the Crew will have to seek alternative.

1 comment:

Ian said...

The only way the "market" will right things, is if the people involved have the ability to overcome their own egos and admit that it was a mistake. If they are unwilling to look for, much less actually find a way out of the corner they've put themselves in, then nothing will change.