SBD/April 2, 2013/MLB Season Preview

MLB Media Notes: SNY's Gowdy Says Mets Owners Not Restricting Network's Spending

Gowdy says Mets ownership embraced SNY's hiring of Bobby Valentine
SportsNet N.Y. Senior VP/Production & Exec Producer Curt Gowdy said there was “no pushback” from Mets ownership about the hiring of Bobby Valentine as an SNY analyst and, in fact, “ownership embraced it.” Gowdy also said ownership, despite well-reported financial difficulties, “has not given them any restrictions on spending” (Paul Sanford, Television Editor).

RELATIONSHIP BUILDING: In Phoenix, Paola Boivin wrote MLB's "unique rhythm lends itself to a greater bond between fan and announcer." This connection is "why many in the Valley became caught up in the drama surrounding last season’s departures" of D'Backs TV analyst Mark Grace and play-by-play announcer Daron Sutton. A family-like relationship is "the goal" for the new team of Bob Brenly and Steve Berthiaume. Brenly has a "deep connection with the organization." Berthiaume "became popular with the sport’s hard-core fans and developed a strong social-media following" while with ESPN (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 3/30).

READING THE FINE PRINT: In Las Vegas, Ray Brewer wrote the "dirty secret" with the MLB Extra Innings package is area residents "can’t follow any of baseball’s 30 teams for every game, which is a disappointment to several buyers." The Dodgers, Angels, Padres, D'Backs, Giants and A’s "consider the city within their broadcast market" and claim it as part of their territory, which is "excessive." Additionally, ESPN’s "Sunday Night Baseball" and Fox' Saturday afternoon coverage are "blacked out for all teams, and games on other stations aren't available during those times" to protect the nets' exclusive rights. While blackouts are "part of doing business with purchasing the package, providers need to be more upfront about the limitations" (LAS VEGAS SUN, 4/1).

PLATE APPEARANCE: CNBC's Brian Shactman said of the MLB At Bat app, "It's the most profitable mobile app in all of sports. The NFL really might be the country's most popular league, but they have not figured out how to monetize mobile like baseball has." Shactman added the app was "downloaded almost 7 million times last year. Along with MLB TV, basically with the technologies you can watch baseball anywhere on any device" ("Worldwide Exchange," CNBC, 4/1).

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