Monday, July 25, 2011

Where's Our CBA? [Mondays with Gus]

As sports fans, most of us love to complain about who is doing what completely wrong. The players aren't playing with enough passion, the GM isn't smart enough, and the owner is too pompous to let the experts do their work without him breathing down their neck. Yet, we never sit back and look at ourselves.

We've sat back and let the owners and players really screw us over without much of a fight at all. Want to listen to an NBA/MLB/NFL game on the internet? Even though you have access to that radio station's live stream, you still can't listen because those leagues all have a monopoly on radio rights. Want to watch one of your favorite teams via the internet without coughing up hundreds of dollars? Ha! Want to buy your favorite sports channel without paying for 6,000 other ones to go along with it? Good luck.

While the owners and players are going at each other over the billions of dollars they make off of us fans, I say it's time we put our voices in on this as well. Here's a few things I would like to see fans start doing:

Protesting Pricing: Start to demand that teams let you purchase certain games, or segments of a season instead of paying for an entire year of packages like NFL Sunday Ticket. Why should I pay for an entire season of NBA basketball when it's common knowledge that bad teams tank the end of the year so they can get a better pick? Call or write teams and the companies involved and tell them what you want. Better yet, write to other members of the media and force these companies to have discussions in public about the matter.

Eliminate the Monopoly: There should be at least two or three companies fighting for the same customer. None of this “we own the radio rights so deal with it” garbage. Give the radio stations a chance to broadcast and charge customers to hear the games. Work with groups like Hulu and Netflix and see what alternatives these companies can offer.

End PSL Sales/Purchases: Really? I have to pay for my right to purchase something? It's like sports franchises have hit the idiot lottery, and us fans are the cash prize. Maybe someone should start doing this to the owners and the players. The owners will have to pay a fee to be able to negotiate with free agents, while players will have to pay a fee for hiring an agent during those negotiations. Sounds like a stupid idea that just complicates things, doesn't it? That's because it is.

If us fans can start getting together and making demands of the players and the owners, we'll end up teaching these rich folks to stop biting the hand that feeds them. They didn't listen to us when we said we hated the lockouts/strikes/shortened seasons of the past 20 years, so now it's time we start speaking a language that they're used to: Money.

-Gus Rafeedie

No comments:

Post a Comment