Just Who Are You Serving, Exactly?
I'm a baseball fan. A Mets fan above all other teams, sure.
But I enjoy watching baseball. So, it wasn't out of the ordinary to want to watch a clash of the AL's two best teams, the Yanks and the Tigers, on YES tonight. The Mets are in Colorado, so I'm not cheating at all.
The game's rained out. I shoulda figured, because, um, it's been raining all day.
But flipping over to SNY, I see a Mets Classics game (Game 3 of the 1986 NLCS) that has had about an hour of content cut from it.
And so, I decided to watch a Rangers-Devils game from this season on the network that currently employs Fran Healy. MSG. And I found it much more enjoyable.
This is the tip of the iceberg with my SNY frustration.
The network is horribly unoriginal. Rather than create something like the YES Network, they (Comcast, Time Warner, Wilpons)opted to create something more along the lines of the FoxSports networks and NESN.
Might I ask why?
The arrogance of the Yankees, typified by every ounce of programming on the YES network, drives me nuts. Even the promos feature stadium PA guy Bob Sheppard calling it "The Home of Champions."
It features programs like CenterStage, a talk show hosted by the insufferable Michael Kay, Yankeeography, a historical program about various Yankee figures voiced by the equally insufferable John Sterling and YES Road Trip, a show with fans going to every Yankees road game of the season.
It also features an hour-long pregame show (technically it's two shows) and an hour-long postgame show.
They also have programs which the Mets essentially ripped off in Kids On Deck and Yankees Magazine. They also carry Giants-related programming as well as Nets games.
The other local sports network, NESN, also Comcast-created, has a similar type of pitch from Boston, though it's a bit closer to SNY. They feature a ton of Red Sox stuff and the rest is mostly the type of riffraff you see on SNY. They also have an hour long pregame show (2 hours on Friday nights) and an hour-long postgame show.
The Mets have none of this. Half an hour of pregame (for night games only) and about a half an hour of postgame, provided the Mets aren't on the West Coast is all we get.
And I don't care for it at all.
Inexplicably, the SNY crew opted to generate a New York Sports Network. It exists. It's called ESPN. No network will ever be able to cut into the ESPN SportsCenter market share, especially with inferior talent that would make the SportsCenter weekend crew look like Keith Olbermann and Dan Patrick at their primes.
The Mets Network decided they should cover the Yankees. And keep the Mets out of the name. I watch YES occasionally, and don't see anyone mention the Mets.
However, on shows like Daily News Live, A-Rod's struggles are the lead story. Why? If I want to watch coverage that is unbiased, I'll go to Fox News! Tell me about the Mets!
As a die-hard Mets fan, I would love nothing more than Metsographies or talk shows that somehow don't make the Yankees seem like a superior ballclub.
But from the SNY crew, that seems to be too much to ask. The staff hired appears to be a bunch of SportsCenter wannabes and one SportsCenter has-been (Steve Berthiaume). Why?
Why did I watch a SportsNite and find Kenny Choi pronouncing Chris Coste's last name Cah-stee for an entire episode? The worst part is that it meant he wasn't watching the game. Or at least he wasn't listening to it.
Matt Yallof seems to be the best of the bunch. As for Daily News Live, the conversation seems to be floating around all the time. And Gary Apple is a well-known Yankee hack.
Here's another shocker: Yankee fans don't watch SNY! It's a nice idea, in theory, but they're going to be watching YES or SportsCenter.
I had hoped for SNY to be the Mets equivalent of YES.
I had hoped there'd be a Mets Classic on for every snowy day. A new Mets classic.
I had hoped I'd finally get to see that Art Shamsky Metsography.
Instead, we got a network devoid of any Mets branding or recognizable Mets personalities except Darling, Cohen and Hernandez. And they only do pre- and post-game coverage in addition to calling the game. And Ralph comes around once a week.
The notion of a "by fans, for fans" network also appears to have been false. The best the fans get is mini-spots on Mets Weekly. SNY is devoted to the establishment. It's devoted to preserving the status quo of regional sporting networks. Why?
As far as I can tell, this network has been an overwhelming disappointment. It's time for SNY brass to change their tune and put together a Metscentric network. Otherwise, Mets fans are just gonna be stuck watching MSG an hour prior to gametime.
I'm very interested to know if any of you agree with this. Has SNY wronged Mets fans by covering the Yankees almost equally, or for that matter have they covered the Yankees too much at all?
Leave me a comment or send me an email. I'll post some responses in my next update.
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Posted by Schuyler at 8:29 PM