les esquina nyc restaurant atenolol side effects linezolid common side effects cialis linked to melanoma tablete za mrsavljenje forum cialis pharmacy us order propecia 5 online inderal for anxiety medication atarax medication for panic attacks comprar cialis por internet viagra tablets available in chenna isoniazid side effects doctor advair side effects dose phentermine adipex 37.5mg cefadroxil side effects in cats pastillas cialis yahoo buy tvs echeck cheapest propecia uk buy cialis 10mg uk synthroid buy online no script antibotics for women canada toronto viagra pharmacy differin coupon $25 estrogen pill for purchase levitra for sale in canada sumycin side effects cialis super active reviews relafen uses generic viagra from canada tabletten zum abstillen aber buy cialis 5mg from canada xanax avant dentiste pay with check by phone requip mexico ezetimibe 10mg simvastatin 80mg duloxetina acne ospamox amoxicillin 1000mg periactin for children dose cialis pharmacies lasix from canada no perscription cheap propecia no prescription dalacin c and eskinol price of viagra in uk motilium domperidone side effects viagra online with amex buying sleeping pills online trileptal medication for nerve pain topamax dosage weight loss domperidone maleate used elimite cream over the counter keflex and breastfeeding side effects buy tretinon tryptizol drug mart keppra side effects seizures desogen birth control prednisolone eye drops side effects in dogs cheap zoloft no prescription mercury drugstore price list rhinathiol infant syrup 125ml cialis profession for sale online biaxin xl 500mg information pliva propranolol neurocet availability phentermine diet pills 37.5 canadian prandin repaglinide tablets strattera 30 40 mg and tanning overseas pharmacies reglan medication reglan breastfeeding nizoral cream uses buy femara uk orderpharma roaccutane acne canadian valtrex buy citodon acyclovir cream dermizol crematory zithromax 500mg remeron antidepressant remeron sleep where to buy prednisone online clomid without prescription in usa bay levrita from usa fenazopiridina comprare dyazide generic capsule pictures accutane canada meds cialis gunstig kaufen 40mg zyvoxid prospectors kamagra safe and cheap on line mincorp mnsure atacand 8mg ketorolac injection doselagatrim femara le soir cara pengambilan pil perancang yasmin american pharmacy coupons flovent no prescription chloroquine malaria dose tramadol mastercard overnight prevacid availability norvasc 5 mg generic aristocort cream ointment for ringworm viagra 400mg prednisone 10mg dose pack directions pinamox antibiotic resistance cockapoo information and pictures where to buy prevacid 30 mg optumrx phone number can flagyl be bought over the counter levitra from va pharmacy cytotec medicine side effects what can i buy similar to viagra best price levitra generic xenical cost vigora 100 red tablets review biorezonanta magnetica oradea aldara cream warts treatment price lopressor medications that cause sun sensitivity cheap accutane parkering vigra flyplassvigrande amerimedrx model car cyrux pastillas de alcachofa diflucan for thrush in adults optimmune o.2 3.5gm tube insurance company ratings moodys pravastatin sodium 40 mg picture fasigyn 500mg tablets cialis us achat de viagra en ligne au canada cialis pills cheap seroquel for sleep reviews venlafaxine side effects depression mesalamine without prescription inexpensive lisinopril vasotec dosage free estrogen pills crestor rosuvastatin price 372 medameds complaints about companies cialis kopen cleocin side effects medication hiden camera bsm basket zestoretic tabs 10 12 51 what is maxifort zimax legit online pharmacy viagria protonix vs nexium which is better depakote toxicity level cefadroxil 500 mg capsule uses bactrim 960mg fast delivery generic viagra lidocaine side effects dental work were to buy viagra in alberta doxycycline 100mg capsules tadalafil reviews ovral l pill same time daily sports cialis dallas texas tretinoin 0.05 cream 45gm avelox side effects medication viagra online ordering jia yi jian prometrium without prescriptions paxil withdrawal side effects sildenafil purple india where to buy alli weight loss pills why use reglan for migraines pheromones perfume best buy amatriptylene actors in cialis commercials vicodin withdrawal how long winstrol v stanozolol for dogs meloxicam dose guinea pigs escitalopram oxalate medication tenormin medication cialas las vegas pharmacies cheap brand viagra red viagra pill samonas sound therapy cds for sale generika drugstore paranaque lavestra tablettablets cefixime 100mg dosagecefovex viagra for sale in california world med direct furosemid rezeptfrei baristanet montclair nj police department albendazole uk mckesson promethazine with codeine mail order celebrex drugs no prescription needed looking for synthroid pills valium overdose symptoms decadron without a prescription temovate cream cialis dosage 2 5 mg differin cream for wrinkles berifen medicinal plants flomist nasal spray clozaril agranulocytosis risk dianabol steroids information not derby pie obat sitotek valtrex dosage for herpes breakout medomycin antibiotics for strep crema elocom elavil for migraines drug famvir side effects famciclovir polarmeds complaints against companies in illinois himcolin gel how to use in hindi vicodin withdrawal symptoms addiction tylenol arthritis recall 2015 leukeran chlorambucil for cats cipralex weight gain loss buy xanax bars online legally buy elimite cream without prescription india discount pharmacies boner pills sold in stores norvasc 0 dollars 28 center is generic viagra available yet robaxin dosage for dogs cephalexin side effects for dogs rogaine rebate formrollbox buy meloxicam 7 5 mg pravastatin medication generic name epharmacy online calculator folcres panalabs imigran tablets price januvia medication blood sugar what is buspirone vs xanax cialis consegna 24 ore buy xenical online viagra para diabeticos suhagra tablets maxifort zimax pills lyrics metazole medication information orlistat weight loss pill mirtazapine 30 mg tablet zyrtec coupons differin coupon nizagara oval fertomid 50 after endometriosis surgery viagra flavored 100mg luvox reviews ocd overnight shipping to usa viagra cost of cialis in dubai aricept patient assistance program order clomid fast shipping zantac 150 and pregnancy can you take naproxen with prednisone cialis purchase online canada vagiral ovulos canesten viagara from india dostinex online percocet 10/325 street prices nebivolol hydrochloride nebicar silagra uk suppliers online pharmacy no prescription canada prilosec side effects long term diane stretton update generika drugstore logo zithromax order lantus coupons mesalamine side effects precio bioticaps phentermine information amphetamine cefabiot 500mg equals acheter viagra contre remboursement metformin drug store canada what compines has fake vigara buy amoxicillin canada online effexor without prescriptions vytorin generic name medication lidocaine patch 5 for back pain valium withdrawal schedule cialis and viagra together ivermectin for dogs lorinol tablets for kids sildenafil pulmonary hypertension dose lanoxin drug digoxin levitra orodispersible review goji berry interact with lopressor geo trust cailis over the counter fertility pills propecia kaufen ohne rezept goodrx app for android cialis cream online in canada nizoral capsules buy mestinon 60 mg side effects ciales puerto rico map & satellite best place buy cialis online 30 day free trial voltaren real brand viagra no prescription adderall and pregnancy safety novolog side effects buy femara letrozole buy zopiclone usa avana cypress estates apartments houston tx reviews xlpharmacy coupon discount code order peractin online price hydrocodone without insurance buy prednisone 25 mg purchase clomid for post cycle adderall and pregnancy studies paxil generics coupons for cialis lopid 600 mg triglycerides medication where can i get atorvastatin without a percocet withdrawal symptoms acetaminophen zovirax buy online polarmeds pharmacy school allopurinol drug study buy doxycycline online no prescription subutex doctors in tennessee minocycline cost without insurance viagra tienda online buy accutane no prescription overnight buy minocin online topamax for migraines in children serum digoxin toxicity level aldactone generic namesaldara floxin antibiotic dosage where to buy the best cialis online phenergan dosage for kids singulair medication drug minoxidil side effects sureway construction how to use suhagra 100mg lidocaine viscous 2 solution get cialis overnight apetamin works for weight gain viagra en l igne paypal purchase zithromax for chlamydia cialis pricetesco folcres precious moments eutirox 25 mg levemir vs lantus conversion is it safe to take 2 5mg cialis pills when should you take viagra betamethasone cream logirene retention deau carafate side effects constipation zyban smoking reviews elocom mast benicar without perscription viagra 800 gold promethazine hcl pilexil capsulas de colageno levitra dosage medication doctor ranbaxy recall generic lipitor westhroid medication to buy zestril on line zoloft and pregnancy third trimester augmentin 875 125azithromaxazulfidine decadron steroid side effects phenergan and pregnancy tests sri lanka viagra bayer levitra buy fluoxetine 20mg is prednisone otc in canada potassium deficiency symptoms in adults celebrex 200mg jasmine guy net worth valium side effects diazepam carprofen for dogs reviews condyline pdf file cataflam 50mg tablets clotrimazole troche 10mg side effects ceftin and alcohol interactions lorazepam informati permethrin 10 mixing instructions for dogs nymphomax reveiws percocet 512 information prescription lamictal for depression and anxiety buy cheap albendazole home made viagra free sample of cialis lamictal and alcohol bipolar what is difference between sotalol and sotalol af zoloft 5mg no prescription prevacid dosage by weight voltaren dosing card printable microcidal definition of marriage medameds pharmacy schools cenveo envelope venlafaxine 37.5mg price zoloft dosages antidepressants sample test for pharmacy tech cialis before surgery amantadina nombres comerciales de loperamida discount tadalafil duvadilan drug study pregnancy medication cialis fast beta alanine finasteride generic brand astelin side effects azelastine eye what is teva used for eltroxin 0 1mg is how many mcg vosteran search delete lotrel side effects anxiety albo nazionale commercialisti phexin boats topamax dosage for weight loss diflucan dosage how much viagra can you take aspirin vs ibuprofen for headaches mestinon side effects myasthenia gravis generische apotheke tofranil pm for anxiety spiriva handihaler capsule cialis reviews women viagra professional canada nolvadex pct cycle viagra soft from india medoflucon fluconazole diflucan macrodantin side effects in dogs imitrex injections for migraines mirtazapine 15 mg tablet no rx needed thyroid zoloft for anxiety and ocd stromectol dose mirapex without prescription what is the best viagra mg how to cum more often ed meds nz generic viagra south africa how to get esomeprazole my canadain pharmacy medoflucon 50 states cytotec side effects on baby minocycline buy 50mg vipps online phamarcy kamagra order uk no prescription generic abilify cheap viagra 50mg 13 pills cheap buy shirt pay american express diazepam dosage for children duvadilan isoxsuprine drug study pham drugs generic cialis super active ibuprofen dosage chart for children by weight american viagra store artane dosage information estrogen pills drugstore best over the counter viagra substitute sotalol hcl 80mg medicine paracetamol toxicity canadian pharma online companies doxycycline hyclate 100 mg generic cialis tadalafil 20mg reviews herb viagra green box reviews thyroxine levels high cialis and malignant melanoma side effects of carbimazole treatment tylenol dosage chart by weight androgel bodybuilding gains low cost generic cialis viagra oneline in eu mens health actavis promethazine codeine canada permethrin spray clothing bactrim ds canadian pharmacys official canadian pharmacy lamotrigine medication for depression kegunaan obat ciprofloxacin xanax dosage information for sleep no perscription 20 mg cialis viagra pfizer ligne do i need a presciption for viagra cialis commercial bathtubs topiramate 50 mg tablet glaxo cialis buy meaning of inininin robaxin and orgasm doxycycline hyclatecyclivex the canadian drugstore inc erectile drugs online augmentin antibiotic generic name xalatan generic for desyrel onlline europe indinavir contraindications to tpa buy cialis beijing 212 beprogel lotion bottles ospamox 500mg used for europe pharmacy fentanyl side effects dose cytotec cuantas pastillas trae la caja phenamax reviews for fifty clopidogrel bisulfate generic tetracycline recall on line pharmacy e check lialda pharmacy savings card 2014 permethrin 10 instructionsperoxydermpharcharmy cheap kamagra paypal uk price of viagra shipped from usa to usa viagra tablets in delhi doxycycline hyclate 100mg sale vibrox medicine ball femara 2.5 mg novartis prednisone for sale in mexico adipex reviews doctor accredited online viagra pharmacy walgreens coupons policy buying viagra in mexico pharmacy costco locations in florida roxifen geldingrualis advair side effects weight gain
Home Biz of Baseball - Interviews Interview - Eric Fisher - Sports Business Journal

Like Shoot to Thrill - An AC/DC Tribute on Facebook!

An authentic tribute of AC/DC that covers the best of the Bon Scott era and the best of Brian Johnson's material

Who's Online?

We have 769 guests online

Atom RSS

Interview - Eric Fisher - Sports Business Journal PDF Print E-mail
User Rating: / 7
PoorBest 
Written by Maury Brown   
Thursday, 18 October 2007 05:00
Eric Fisher Interviews

If your interest lies in anything that has to do with sports outside the lines, then the trade magazine the Sports Business Journal and it’s counterpart, the Sports Business Daily are indispensable resources for keeping up with all manner of sports business.

When it comes to covering Major League Baseball as an industry, Eric Fisher has done as good a job as any for the SBJ and SBD.

Fisher started in the mid 1990s at a small daily paper in Easton, Md., as their business editor, managing the business and real estate pages during the day and ‘moonlighting’ at night covering Washington Bullets home games across the bridge in Landover.He went to The Washington Times in ’96 where he worked for two years as a general assignment writer on the business desk. During that time he covered the opening of the MCI Center and FedEx Field and the death of Jack Kent Cooke. In ’98, when the Washington Redskins went up for sale, he covered the story as essentially an every-day assignment for the next nine months through the closing of the record sale to Dan Snyder. On the heels of that saga, he transferred to the sports desk to create the paper’s new sports business beat, where he immediately got to work on the baseball-in-Washington story, but also covered plenty of other issues including the NHL lockout and Michael Jordan’s arrival to and departure from Washington.

Since coming on-board with the Sports Business Journal he has covered MLB extensively, including interviews with Commissioner Selig, the covering of the latest negotiations for the MLB Extra Innings television package, and a host of other issues surrounding baseball.

The following interview covers Selig’s legacy, the on-going issues surrounding MLB’s television black out policy, the upcoming sale of the Chicago Cubs, television ratings for the postseason, thoughts on MLB’s attendance, the Washington Nationals stadium development, and whether viewership on the East Coast is really impacted by late starting times for games in the West. - Maury Brown

Maury Brown for the Business of Sports Network: The Sports Business Journal selected Commissioner Selig as the Sports Executive of the Year, and you’ve interviewed him face-to-face. On his own, how much credit does Selig deserve for MLB’s current robust standing? Is Selig the driver, or is the atmosphere between the owners, and the MLBPA play a larger part?
 

Bid SeligEric Fisher: The premise of your question is interesting. Selig was, and in some circles still is, vilified – and to some degree fairly – for the ’94 strike, the imbalance of the late ‘90s, the contraction follies, the steroid issue, and so forth. But he gets much less credit for the positives that have occurred on his watch. And that strikes me as quite unfair. Selig is always going to have an uphill climb given that his public persona does not match that of a prototypical chief executive. And there are certainly a lot of other people also responsible for the current success the industry is enjoying, the union and its leadership included. But Bud definitely has not received enough credit for what’s happening. The generally strong level of unanimity we’re seeing among the owners, which in turn is helping fuel a lot of the growth we’re seeing, is the result of a lot of tough ground work on his part. And he’s become much more engaged with rightsholders to make their deals with baseball work year after year better rather simply accepting a check.

Bizball: Yourself and John Ourand covered the Extra Innings negotiations closer than any others. For the vast majority of the negotiations it seemed as if DirecTV would wind up with exclusive rights to the out-of-market game package. In the end, MLB wound up negotiating a very lucrative deal, both for EI, and the upcoming MLB Network. Do you feel that the outcome planned, or was it more of a case of MLB falling into a great deal?
 
Fisher: Baseball was plenty prepared to go it alone with DirecTV, at least for the short term. Remember, this thing was borne in part by a real frustration within MLB at the rather weak fashion in which cable had sold and marketed Extra Innings. So to that end, I don’t think anyone had the final accord planned out last fall when this was all getting ready to start. But I don’t think it was “falling into” this deal either. Comcast had to get fully engaged in the process to really get MLB’s respect and attention, and MLB had to make some concessions they hadn’t originally planned on, such as taking less upfront cash and redividing the equity in the channel. But there’s definitely no doubt the channel is in a very strong position as the launch approaches.
 
Fisher quote on broadcast territoriesBizball: MLB has requested that the owners re-evaluate their broadcast territories in an attempt to minimize issues that surround the league’s complex blackout policy. With the MLB Network coming online in 2009 as the largest cable channel launch in history, how much of an issue will the blackout policy create?
 
Fisher: The MLB brass has been rather tight-lipped about this of late. The answer that we’re going to have to get to eventually – teams giving up claims to certain markets – is obviously a lot easier said than done. What MLB will likely need to do is make an economic case to the clubs that the overall revenues from the MLB Network will ultimately overtake what is being lost on a local and regional level. That’s basically the argument that helped start MLB Advanced Media. The mindset requires patience and vision. But the current reality is so unsatisfactory that one has to hope that common sense prevails at some point.
 
Bizball: You may have been the first to report that the impending sale of the Chicago Cubs might hit $1 billion or more. There has been talk recently of the assets around the sale – Wrigley Field, a 25% stake in Comcast SportsNet Chicago, and Wrigley Field Premium Tickets. How do you foresee the sale occurring?
 
Fisher: Well, I actually wrote $800 million as a target figure back in the spring when the for-sale sign was first hung. It may bleed a little higher toward $1 billion. But that’s a rather large psychological barrier to cross, and when the deal is done, a lot to debt to carry. And make no mistake, that ballpark is going to need a lot of attention when the new owner finally gets the keys. That place has been cruising a bit on reputation in recent years rather than actual ballpark experience. And given the yeoman’s work the Red Sox ownership has done to Fenway, the bar is being substantially raised for what can and should be done in older ballparks. So if I had to hazard a guess – and this is just a guess since the financial books are just now going out to prospective bidders – I would say the deal comes in $900 million, maybe $925 million.
 
Bizball: Do you see anyone that might unseat John Canning, Jr. as the front runner to win the bid for the Cubs?
 
Fisher: No, I really don’t. He’s done an impressive job bringing in some potential rivals into his group. He obviously has the connections, the all-important Friend Of Bud tag, knows how the industry works, and perhaps most important, he’s kept his mouth shut. That matters a lot in these proceedings.
 
FIsher quote on MLB television ratingsBizball: Regular season television ratings at the regional and local level were extremely robust this year with 21 of the 29 clubs showing increases from the year prior. Yet, this postseason sees another dip in the ratings due to teams such as the Diamondbacks and Rockies in the NLCS. What does baseball and the networks need to do, if anything, to help get attention beyond the Red Sox and Yankees?
 
Fisher: This is something that’s really frustrated the league. For the past several years, basically every economic indicator from attendance and local TV ratings to merchandise sales, franchise values, Internet metrics and overall revenue has soared through the roof. But one high profile exception – national TV ratings for the LCS and World Series – has gone the other way, and it’s led some people to conclude the entire game is in crisis. It’s anything but. The playoff ratings have been sort of a weird black eye for baseball, and something that’s exposed some of the curiosities of the TV business, as well as some of the stiff sweeps-driven competition that the playoffs go up against.
 
Having said all that, MLB has been particularly focused this year on getting the playoff ratings back up. That started in January when Selig, his senior staffers and MLB’s executive council met for hours with executives from Fox and Turner to begin planning for the postseason. And it’s continued during the season as MLB started its playoff marketing earlier than ever, and Selig trumped up the World Series as a premier TV property at many opportunities. I don’t think it’s so much a Yankee-Red Sox thing. Any series with big markets and goes at or near the distance with plenty of dramatic moments is going to do fine. The Rockies are a tremendous story, but there’s no drama there now, at least not until the World Series.

 
Bizball: This season saw yet another record for attendance at both the minor league and major league levels. With several new stadiums set to come online that are smaller than their predecessors, will we continue to see a rise in attendance, or are we nearing a point where we’re nearing a peak?
 
Fisher on attendanceFisher: This is definitely a growing issue. Selig wants to get above 80 million in total attendance in 2008 and he should get there. But there were four clubs that sold more than 95 percent of their available seats this year, another four above 90 percent, and a handful of other beyond 80 percent. And with the Yankees and Mets both downsizing with the opening of their new stadiums in 2009, next season could be the biggest attendance number we see in quite a while.
 
Bizball: You covered the MLB to DC effort for the Washington Times before coming to the SBJ. What are your thoughts on how the process went and continues.
 
Fisher: I was just down for the final RFK Stadium game, and wrote about the state of the organization coming off that trip, and the thing that really struck me was how normal it all is now. They’re building the ballpark, and there are obviously many issues that have be sorted out as we get toward Opening Day, not the least of which is the parking and transportation plan. The roster remains a work in progress. But these are all issues that plenty of other teams face or has faced before, and in some cases, every other team faces. For far too long, this was a team and organization like no other, weird and unique for a whole lot of reasons, most of them negative. But there’s not really much difference now between the Nationals and a whole batch of other MLB teams. And after all the drama that happened, that’s a rather refreshing thing to see.
 
New Nationals BallparkBizball: It seems that the new Nationals ballpark will come online without a naming rights deal. Ownership wishes to reach an annual deal in the $8 million-$10 million range. Is the naming rights market thinning out, or will is a deal, such that the Nationals are looking to land seem well within reach?
 
Fisher: I don’t think the market is really thinning out. The issue, rather, is that the Nationals are going to market at the same time as lot of other big opportunities out there: the forthcoming Jets/Giants stadium, the Yankees’ package of entitlements that won’t include the stadium name but a lot of other major opportunities, the Jacobs Field renaming, and so forth. The college facility naming market also still has a lot going on. So if you’re running a major corporation that’s looking to do this sort of thing, you’re inevitably going to be kicking the tires on not only the Nationals’ ballpark, but some of these others, too. I still have confidence the Lerners and Kasten will get to that target number eventually. The question is how much media on MASN, the club’s Web site and so forth is baked into that number.

Bizball: The cover story that you and John Ourand did for the latest Sports Business Journal covers a topic that many baseball fans on the East Coast have followed: the late start of games, and how it supposedly is lowering television viewership, especially for the younger demographics. What did your research find?

Fisher:
The ratings data, over a period of years, shows that the later a game starts and finishes, the better rating – across all demographics with the exception of adults aged 55 and above. For MLB postseason specifically, ratings for all demos except the 55+ crowd went up after 11 p.m., and the World Series year after year gets 4 to 6 percent of its total viewing audience from viewers aged 11 and under. It’s a refrain the networks have been making for years, but it goes directly against the grain of East Coast columnist opinion claiming the late-night play is eroding youth interest in MLB. Baseball, already facing a higher societal standard than other sports, gets the brunt of heat on this issue since its postseason squares up against school nights more than most other properties. Basically what we have is a collision of two less-than-perfect methods of research – Nielsen’s sampling versus the tiny focus groups of one or two in the homes of each columnist decrying the playoff TV schedule.


 Interview conducted by Maury Brown on the week of 10/15/07

Edited by Maury Brown

 
 
Banner

Poll

Should MLB Force Jeffery Loria to Sell the Marlins?