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April 23, 2004

Victory yet again

The Twin Cities are abuzz with debate concerning Victory Sports. I think I've already made myself abundantly clear on where I stand on this issue, but I can't help but comment on news that came out today about the ongoing negotiations (or lack thereof). The cable companies will try to tell you they won't pick up Victory because their price per subscriber is too high, or because Victory doesn't have good enough programming to warrant any price. Hogwash. The cable companies won't pick up Victory because they don't want to set a precedent. If the Twins and Victory win this battle you will probably see every MLB team give this a try, and the cable companies just don't want the headache. Can you imagine trying to negotiate with 30 separate teams? Anyway, read the article above, but pay special attention to this quote concerning the cable companies' assertion that the Twins should be negotiating with FSN:

Victory President Kevin Cattoor was frustrated with the stance that the Twins should seek mediation with FSN. "My response to the Fox suggestion is it's not appropriate because the issue is not with Fox Sports Net," he said.

Cattoor was especially critical of Comcast, which has merged forces with the Cubs, Bulls, Blackhawks and White Sox to form a sports network in Chicago. He points out that those teams bolted from Fox Sports Net in Chicago.

"If Comcast thinks that's the way it should occur in this market, why don't they give all the Chicago teams back to Fox Sports Net in Chicago?" Cattoor said.

Touché. We need to start putting pressure on the cable companies to make this happen. Stop focusing on the Twins! The cable companies need to start feeling the heat, hopefully more than they do already.

Posted by snackeru at April 23, 2004 12:39 PM | Sports business


I knew you would pick that quote from the paper. That argument from Cattoor is so silly I laughed. He is comparing Victory with 1 major team to the Chicago station that has 4 major teams representing 3 different major sports, that is ludicrous.

Using your argument of that if I'm "not interested in [the programming] doesn't mean it isn't there.", you completely invalidate your argument against FSN. So you don't like TBDSSP, don't watch it. However, it is a proven show that gets millions of viewers. Also, don't use high school sports as a viable viewing option. Are you telling me that I'm supposed to pay for public access style camerawork and commentary of a high school sports game? No one cares about them until tourney time. MN ain't TX, OK, PA or such where high school sports rule big time (like 25k to a regular season football game).

Apparently T-Wolves basketball, Wild Hockey, NASCAR and Major soccer are nothing in your view, hence your dismissal of them from FSN.

ESPN News is already a channel, why should consumers pay extra for a channel they already have?

Posted by: Cheesehead Craig at April 23, 2004 2:43 PM

I think Victory and the Twins are in this for the long haul and everyone needs to support them. Comparing programming currently on Fox now with Victory is potentially an invalid argument. Maybe once all the local teams currently on Fox have their contracts expire they bolt to Victory after observing the Twins success and ratings.
You can do me a favor in the meantime though and mention my campaign to get Victory Sports on in my local bar.
-Jim in St. Paul

Posted by: Jim in St. Paul at April 23, 2004 2:57 PM

I will agree with a point of Jim's, if the T-Wolves and Wild get on Victory, then it truly will be a worthwhile channel to have. The best solution in my opinion for MLB is to have their own channel (kinda like the NFL Sunday Ticket) and give people a code when they purchase a season's worth of games for their team. This code will then allow them to watch ALL the games for that team. Game time comes on, punch in the code, you get that team's game. Granted this will only work for satellite dishes, but the profits on this could be split between teams, even if a team keeps 75% of the direct revenue on this, combined with a share of the other teams revenue, that would certainly help any stadium or payroll issues they have.

Posted by: Cheesehead Craig at April 23, 2004 3:29 PM

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