Twins Taking All Games To Cable As Part Of New Broadcast Deal With FS North
FS North will be the exclusive home for Twins games beginning this year, meaning the "end of weekend games" on WFTC-MYT, according to Neal Justin of the Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE. The deal is leaving "a lot of fans crying foul," as 18% of viewers in the Minneapolis/St. Paul market do not have cable or satellite. Also, FS North is "not part of" the basic cable tier in the region. Twins President Dave St. Peter said that the team "was sensitive to fan reaction, but that cable exclusivity in local markets was 'inevitable.'" He noted that 16 MLB teams "have already gone that route." St. Peter: "The days of significant packages with broadcast TV in sports are gone." Justin notes WFTC carried 25 games in '10. With the new FS North deal, "more games will be available in some form on TV." At least 158 of the Twins' 162 games will be televised, including eight national games on Fox. That is up from 133 games in '05. Neither St. Peter nor FS North Senior VP & GM Mike Dimond "would discuss financial details or the length of the deal" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 2/17). The four games that will not be televised are "midweek home games" that start at 12:10pm CT. The Twins ranked second behind only the Cardinals "in regional sports network ratings for the season" (BIZJOURNALS.com, 2/17).