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BASEBALL ADVERTISERS, MEDIA BUYERS HANG ON WEEKEND NEWS
Published March 31, 1995
TV sports columnists are examining the effect of this weekend's possible replacement opening on the baseball's advertisers and broadcasters. In Washington, Leonard Shapiro writes, "No one really knows how to calculate the ill will the strike generated on Madison Avenue. Worse, the deadline for third- and fourth-quarter ad sales in late summer through the World Series is approaching. If the strike goes on much longer, agencies will have to look elsewhere to spend their money" (WASHINGTON POST, 3/31). In Philadelphia, Mike Bruton writes that TV and radio stations holding MLB rights "are caught in a bind. They have to weigh losing money in the short term against losing the broadcast rights to their respective teams in the long term." WBFS-TV Station Manager Jerry Carr, whose South FL station carries Marlins games: "It's tough, real tough. Advertisers aren't saying no, they're just saying: 'Wait a minute, we want to restructure this thing.' I can't fault them for that" (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 3/31). CNN's John Metaxas examined the impact of the strike on radio/TV advertisers: "Many advertisers are balking at paying for something less than Major League Baseball." Gene Dewitt, of Dewitt Media: "It's our inclination to not buy time during the replacement games because no one really knows what the quality of the games will be or what the audience will be." Dewitt said audiences were down about 35% in early spring replacement telecasts ("Moneyline," CNN, 3/30). In New York, Steve Zipay notes MSG Network's refusal to air four scheduled Yankee exhibitions, and reports that the team's regular-season opener "is in jeopardy" (N.Y. NEWSDAY, 3/30).