BOB:  Jays television network experiments with ads

Sportsnet gets different with television ads

You can superimpose quite a bit on a television screen these days. While I haven’t watched many NFL games lately, I had one on this past year and noticed they did quite a bit now with computer imaging where the first down marker is as well as the line of scrimmage. Sportsnet, the Toronto Blue Jays television network, took this a step further and they’re now superimposing ads that look like they show up on the playing field during Jays games.

Sportsnet is walking a fine line because ads on the playing field aren’t currently allowed. Of course the quirk is, they’re in foul territory and out on the outfield wall so they’re trying to get around the rule. The article I linked to is pretty critical of the plan but I don’t see what the big fuss is about. If was an actual ad on the playing field I’d question, it but something superimposed on my television screen isn’t a big deal. They work ads in every other way they can and this is probably even less of a distraction then every little screen shot having a sponsor of some sort.

Lack of star power drives down Yankees attendance

The New York Yankees have drawn 6.1 percent fewer fans this year than they did last year. This New York Times article blames the lack of star power on the team for the drop. The Yankees aren’t playing bad, and they’re definitely in the playoff mix, but they’ve drawn 106,000 fewer fans through their first 41 games and their television ratings are way down from a year before.

Another problem could be the fans have gotten spoiled. I don’t mean that in a bad way, but it’s happened to fans in Detroit with the Detroit Red Wings. If they’re not at the top, people lose interest because that’s where they’ve been for so long. Of course, it gives the fans who haven’t had much of a chance to go to games potentially more reasonable ticket prices. There’s also the fact that the Yankees didn’t sell out their playoff games last year so this isn’t a new trend.

Port of Oakland unions oppose stadium deal

The city of Oakland is working on a deal to keep the Oakland Athletics in the city. Despite owner Lew Wolff’s protestation, the city is working on a settlement to free up some waterfront land for a new ballpark,

But it looks like at least for now, the deal isn’t going to happen if the Oakland Longshoremen who represent workers at the Port of Oakland have their way. The deal would move a current port tenant at the Howard Terminal to a new spot to free up land for the city to build a stadium.

In other Athletics’ stadium news, this article discusses some of the Athletics’ options if San Jose doesn’t work out for them. One of these involves the deal I discussed already which involves the Howard Terminal. The other is being called Coliseum City and it involves new stadiums for not just the A’s but the Oakland Raiders and the Golden State Warriors. This last idea is probably a little too expensive for the city to handle so they’re probably hanging their hats on the Howard Terminal settlement.

All-Star Game on the horizon

While I have no specific news, the All-Star Break is always an interesting time for MLB. Commissioner Bud Selig usually does his half season state-of-the-union interview and while most of the sport takes a break, we have the media frenzy that surrounds the Home Run Derby and the actual All-Star Game. I’ll be out of town next week but when I return, I’ll fill everyone in on what went down this time around.

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10 years ago

I’m tired of the creeping incrementalism. Screw it, why don’t they just go full NASCAR? Plaster the uniforms and the field with sponsors and get it over with. “Andrew McCutchen, brought to you this year by Heinz, UPMC and D’s Six Packs and Dogz.” “The Heinz pitching mound at UPMC Field at PNC Park.” Not like there isn’t already precedent for this kind of thing with some stadium names changing every five years. (What’s the park in San Francisco called now anyway? “Yes, son, we had some great times at Pac Bell Park.” “Where the hell’s that, dad?” And what the hell is an O.Co?) Let everybody howl about it for a week and get used to it in a month. You can get used to just about anything.

10 years ago

Baseball and other sports have a long way to go to catch up with NASCAR when it comes to the ubiquity of advertisements. A driver being interviewed after the race is all but required to thank a major sponsor for the team’s success. Plus, they can’t be content with saying the type of car; they have to add the main sponsor’s name to it. Don’t get me started on the drivers’ billboard uniforms.

I hope we never get to the point where a baseball player is compelled to credit his success to the maker of his glove or shoes.

10 years ago

The worst part of the Blue Jays ads is that they are forcing the use of bad camera angles in order to fit in the advertising area. Specifically, the “batters eye” ads are only visible when using a behind the plate camera, so they do that now during live play a lot more. It’s a terrible angle to watch from though. You can’t really see where the pitches end up, or what type they are, and the umpire/catcher/hitters butt is the closest view of a person. Rogers also forces commercials in mid-inning. Not during pitching changes, not “this trivia question sponsored by”, not a short blurb from the play-by-play guy, but between at bats they sometimes cut away from the game and do full ad announcements. Throw in mediocre announcers, and I don’t miss the broadcasts at all now that I’ve gotten rid of cable.

MLB teams have been using behind the plate ads for a while (10 years?) now, so it doesn’t bother me in general.