Monday, October 16, 2006

Boycotts Work

They worked in Toronto. They worked in Detroit. They've worked in many cities.

And now, they worked in Chicago:

The White Sox failed to repeat as world champs this season, but they did beat the Cubs in local TV ratings for the first time in at least two decades.

Chasing a wild card bid into September, the Sox ended the season this month with higher ratings on broadcast stations WGN-TV/Channel 9 and WCIU-TV/Channel 26 and on cable's Comcast SportsNet. The Cubs, with the worst National League record, lost viewers. The three stations accounted for most of the games televised in the region for both teams.

This, plus empty seats, is the main reason why the Cubs made changes this year. The Tribune Company realized that one of their brands was hemoraging customers.

Congrats to all the fans who refused to go and refused to watch. You are heroes. You got Andy MacPhail fired. You are responsible for the change and don't let anyone try to tell you differently. All Cub fans interested in a winning franchise owe you all a debt of gratitude.

Peole like me who actually went to a game with your kids, we're the suckers (although not as big of suckers as those who actually paid for their tickets).

Also, if you are looking for a reason the Trib may just sell the Cubs, despite the tax hit they would take, this could hint at it.

Perhaps the enterprise value of the team has peaked. Delaying a sale could cost even more than the tax hit, a cost a highly leveraged, growth challenged company may not be able to afford.

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