Tuesday, July 11, 2017

With Ratings Way Down, Is Shake-Up Coming At NESN?

As FenwayNation readers well know, we are not big fans of the News England Sports Network (NESN). In our view, NESN is one of the worst regional sports networks in America. As an example, NESN still does not offer viewers SuperSloMo replays—which even the most jerk-water markets consider a necessary staple of their broadcasts. Honestly, NESN has become a boring, smug, team-owned dinosaur. Not surprisingly, ratings for the network's Red Sox telecasts are down 20%. There have been lots of excuses given for this drop—games that run too long, demanding personal schedules, increased popularity of NETFLIX and Amazon Prime among them. But, the Red Sox are in first place—and actual attendance at Fenway Park is pretty much on track. So, maybe it's just a crappy product. None of this is to lay blame on the broadcast team—Dave O'Brien, Jerry Remy, Dennis Eckersley and Guerin Austin are all quality talents. They're just working under a management with a clunky, 1970s mindset. John Henry needs to siphon off some foreign soccer money and upgrade NESN to a 21st-century regional sports network.