Less Money, Mo’ Coverage

Dear Globe,

Can we talk for a minute? We know it’s a busy time for you, but we’d like to address something we’ve noticed about your World Series coverage. No, we’re not here to complain about Dan Shaughnessy. It’s just that you keep boo-hooing about how the Red Sox aren’t making any money from the playoffs, and it’s starting to tick us off.

During the ALDS, you ran an article that informed readers that the team doesn’t earn much from playoff games.

Fenway Park is already sold out for the Red Sox playoff series against the Los Angeles Angels. If these were regular season games, sellouts would put millions of dollars in the club’s coffers from ticket sales, TV and radio broadcast rights, and souvenirs.

But these are the playoffs, and in Major League Baseball that means money that would typically be kept by the home team is split among players, the league, broadcasters, and even umpires. Despite the higher prices and intense interest in the playoffs, when the series is over the Red Sox will be left with only a fraction of the cash that flowed into Fenway, and still have additional expenses for security, operations, and travel.

You’ll have to excuse us if we don’t rush out to start a letter writing campaign to help the impoverished team. Your readers aren’t stupid, and they know the Sox will earn more in the long run if they go to the playoffs.

You even admit as much:

. . . [T]here are other long-term benefits: A full stadium and national media exposure in the playoffs mean a team can charge sponsors more for advertising inside the ballpark, and playoff teams also can negotiate richer contracts with the broadcasters that air the games.

We thought you’d moved on. But in today’s paper, there’s a piece that presents a laundry list of businesses that will make small fortunes off the World Series:

This Fenway Fall Classic is expected to generate millions of dollars in revenue for hotels, airlines, restaurants, bars, and shops, an estimated $3.6 million per home game, tourism officials say. . . . [R]estaurants stand to make between $800,000 and $900,000 on the Series. Hotels could pocket between $600,000 and $700,000, driven in part by Major League Baseball’s sudden demand for rooms for media, players and their families, sponsors, and league officials.

What a bounty! But guess which business is not like the others?

It may not be all good for business, though. The Red Sox, for one, say they are going to have a less-than-spectacular bottom line. . . .

The team pays for 100 percent of the ballpark operations, as well as hotel rooms and charter air travel for players and their families, among other expenses, he said. The team splits revenue with Major League Baseball and the Players Association.

We know you’re probably sore with us since we harp on your coverage of the financial fortunes of the Red Sox when it doesn’t disclose your connection to the team through your mutual parent company. But we do it out of love. You’re better than running that, and you are better than whining about how the playoffs don’t make the home team any money.

Don’t be mad with us. Let’s go catch a game at the Cask. Just don’t bring Shaughnessy.


Boston Daily