Friday, April 13, 2007

MASN, the Orioles and the Media...


You have to read this article from Rick Mease on his blog, Mease Space via the Baltimore Sun titled ‘O’s flex MASN Muscle’.

I found this passage telling (from O’s Flex MASN Muscle), where Maese uses a couple of quotes from Peter Angelos.

"I'd like to see how the [Orioles and MASN] function together, particularly in the generation of revenue, which will enable us to put on, as I said, an even more competitive team than we did this year and the following year," [owner Peter] Angelos said. "That's the goal."

If it's accomplished and the franchise breaks out of its record losing streak, which is at nine seasons, Angelos said the peripheral negativity will fade.

"I really want to take away all that criticism you guys are able to lob," Angelos said with a smile. "It's my way of getting even."

And some text from Rick Maese:

In a very interesting business move, the Orioles have decided to use MASN as muscle to bully other outlets and control what gets said about their baseball team and who says it. Some attention this week has shined on WNST, a station whose owner was not granted a credential and whose morning-show host must request access on a game-by-game basis. [Be sure to check out Ray Frager's take here.] But the story you didn't hear much about this week revolves around Comcast SportsNet and WBAL-AM, who are being treated like jilted lovers in the Orioles' first week of home games.

In light of the events of this week, where WNST proprietor and personality, Nestor Aparicio was denied press credentials, apparently, the Orioles might be playing ‘Big Brother’ to the what can be dictated in the media about the organization.

I work in corporate America and understand what the Orioles are doing, and perhaps it is for good reason. Every business wants to put themselves in a great light via the media and have some control what gets filtered out the masses.

However, to the fan, such as I, who likes to get his news from different outlets and diverging opinions (I try my best to link to as many news articles I can in my daily round-ups), censorship and dictating what can be said and not said is just awful.

Well, I am just a blogger who loves the O’s and could live without intimate access to the Orioles since I go to plenty of games & opine on my thoughts from work and the comfort of my home; however, to other members of the media who cover the team, they have families, a job to do and are handcuffed.

More importantly, the new policy by the organizations thanks to the influence of MASN cuts down the amount of information dispensed and waters it down.

Even more from Maese’s piece:

“At Monday's opener, it was clear how far Comcast SportsNet had fallen in the pecking order. Brent Harris, who's done many favorable pieces on the Orioles over the years, was stuck in a folding char in the corner of the pressbox with nowhere to put his laptop. Today is Friday and Harris still hasn't been granted a season credential. That might not seem like a big deal (Harris has a pass that expires after this homestand) but how ridiculous is it that someone who's covered the team fairly for years has no guarantees beyond this weekend? In addition, the Orioles haven't made it clear whether Comcast can interview players live from Orioles Park during its evening programming, and local stations are able to stay on the field longer than the regional sports network.

WBAL-AM also has a nice history with the Orioles, and they've also received shoddy treatment from the team this week. There have been problems with credentials and parking, not to mention the inexact and fluid rules about what they're allowed to broadcast from the park.

Very sad.

I don’t know what to think, but the Orioles depend on fan interest to keep the team afloat, and is it little wonder why they are going away and not coming back to Camden Yards?

I know living in Washington D.C., this same issue came up with the Redskins and it seemed to not have a long lasting affect on the team overall.

However, the Redskins, no matter where they finish are the darlings of the city, sell out each game and have a waiting list for years and years.

The Orioles, um, are in a much different situation.

I won’t say anymore, but Rick Maese illustrates the point perfectly, “Now is not the time for such a gamble. Fans are walking away from your team, not toward it.”

1 comment:

Oriole Magic! said...

This is an absolute joke. It proves the Orioles don't have the first friggin' clue of how to build a solid fan base.

They want to pretend like everything's rosey. Well it doesn't work like that in sports.

Pissed off fans are a part of the experience. Getting negative stories written about piss poor play is part of the experience.

Canning and packaging this perfect little presentation that only says what you want it to is counterproductive to making the fans feel a part of the action.

Once you do that the fans leave.

This isn't a regular business. The normal rules of always putting on a good public face don't apply to sports teams. That's a great way to run a bank. It's a crappy way to run a sports franchise.

Peter Angelos is a clueless moron in this regard.

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