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  • 06/20/2011, 03:16AM ET

"East Coast Bias" is a good thing

[b][/b] (3-4-0) vs BringThePain (9-16-1)
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I mean this from a purely business standpoint of the places like SI, or ESPN, that supposedly favor east coast medias and markets. I think favoring the east coast in the sports coverage is a good idea for places like SI or ESPN.

I'm not saying completely ignore the Midwest, West Coast or anywhere else, and I know my argument won't go over so well with many people here, but look at the numbers.

Looking at attendance, 3 of the top 4 in total attendance so far this year in the MLB are the Yankees, Phillies, and Red Sox. The Giants happen to be the other team, and yes, they play on the west coast. As I said, don't completely ignore the west coast, but a bias seems fair when the ratio at the top here is 3:1.

In the NFL, 5 of the top 6 are the Redskins, Giants, and Jets, Eagles, and Ravens (while Oakland happens to be last).

3 of the top 5 in the NBA were the Heat, Knicks, and C's. There is no reporting on hockey, virtually (though there should be), so there is no bias.

Clearly non-east coast teams are at the top as well, but proportionately, many of the largest fan bases, and thereby more viewership of ESPN and SI, and more money, comes from the east.


Fisrt of all, I can win this TD in one sentence. Here it is.

"East Coast Bias" is a good thing. Thats the topic right? NO BIAS IS A GOOD THING.

There are huge markets on the west coast and very loyal fans. By the same token, they are no more dedicated to there teams than the rest of the country.(SEE VANCOUVER)

Here are the Top 10 in each sport, and yes, they do report for the NHL.

NFL- 1. Dallas 2. Washington 3. NYG 4. NYJ 5. Denver 6. Carolina 7. Baltimore 8. Houston 9. Green Bay 10. New Orleans

NBA- 1. Chicago 2. Portland 3. Cleveland 4. Dallas 5. Miami 6. NY 7. Utah 8. LAL 9. Orlando 10. Golden State

MLB- 1. Philly 2. NYY 3. San Fran 4. Minn. 5. LAA 6. St Louis 7. Boston 8. TX 9. Cubs 10. LAD

NHL- 1. Chicago 2. Montreal 3. Philly 4. Detriot 5. Toronto 6. Calgary 7. St Louis 8. Vancouver 9. Buffalo 10. Washington

So of the Top 10 teams in each sport, 18 of 40 are on the east coast. Although that makes up a little less than 50% of the attendance in the top 10, it is not like the east coast is 70% of the market.


BRING THE PAIN


18 out of 40 is about %50, but it's not like the other %50 percent or so is all coming from the Midwest, or the Southwest, or the West Coast. Those three split the remaining %50 percent, and accordingly, split coverage time.

Secondly, I don't think using the top 10 is a good indicator. If you take the 10th best team in the MLB, it's going to be a team that missed the playoffs. If you take the 10th best team in the NFL, it will be a 5 seed in the playoffs, and likely a not so great team. My point is, being in the top 10, moreover being 8th, 9th, or 10th, out of 30 or 32 fanbases, is not as impressive as it sounds.

Next, I know I brought up attendance numbers, but we can't just look at that. A New Yorker is more likely to watch something about a NY team than a team from the west coast, and fact is, New York City's population alone is equal to the population of LA, Chicago, and Houston combined (the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th largest U.S. cities).

I'm not questioning the fanhood or loyalty of any fans, or of any team. But the fact is, monetarily speaking, you stand more to gain reporting on the biggest markets, which happen to largely be in the east.


"Secondly, I don't think using the top 10 is a good indicator. If you take the 10th best team in the MLB, it's going to be a team that missed the playoffs."

We were not talking about the best team. We were using attendance #s, which is how you started your argument. So we can do it any way you want to do it. Lets go by the best teams!

Super Bowl- Green Bay vs Pittsburg

NBA Championship- Dallas vs Miami

World Series- San Fransisco vs Texas

Stanley Cup- Boston vs Vancouver

East Coast Teams-2

Championships- 1

So you cannot say that the east coast has the best teams either. There is definatly great teams in the other parts of the country. The east coast has a larger population so it is going to have more veiwers and attendance than the rest of the country. But as far as success goes, the playing field is pretty equal.

Here are the past 5 Champions in each league to show you that the east coast isnt as dominant as you think.

NFL- Green Bay, N.O., Pittsburg, NYG, Indy

NBA- Dallas, LAL, LAL, Boston, San Antonio

MLB- San Fran, NYY, Philly, Boston, St. Louis

NHL- Boston, Chicago, Pitt, Detroit, Anaheim


BRING THE PAIN!!!


I wasn't saying that east coast teams are better... simply that the top 10 in attendance isn't as prestigious as it sounds, because, for instance, being in the top 10 in the MLB isn't a huge accomplishment because you are outside of the playoffs.

The point I was making was that, in using attendance numbers, you have to realize the sample size, which is just 30. In a group of 30, having a team like the Dodgers, or Warriors, be number 10 sounds more impressive than it is.

Though I'm not saying it's a matter of success, you have to admit "east coast bias" goes away when a team wins a championship. For instance, when the Packers won the SB, or when the Mavs just won, the front headline news and articles on every sports site is about them, while the Heat got so much coverage because of the whole "big 3" saga, not because of their location.

Again, it's not a question of dominance in the sport, simply a numbers game. Sports stations and websites are businesses, who's prime goal is to make money, and as a result, they have to appeal to their biggest audiences, which by and large, as I said last argument, happen to be on the east.


While I agree with you that there is more money to be made by showing "East Coast" teams on tv, the question was is it a good thing. The answer is no. Do you know why so many people outside of the east coast are Yankees, Red Sox and Phillies fans? Its because thats all they ever show on TV.

I live in central Texas and cant get the Rangers or the Astros sometimes because the Yankees are on ESPN. The NFL is better about showing regional games but the same goes for the Mavs. I saw way too many Heat or Lakers games and couldnt find the Mavs game anywhere.

This is a bad thing. For the casual fan, not being able to see your team play on any given night makes them lose interest quickly. In the long run, losing those casual fans or bandwagon fans is much worse than missing a couple games in the Red Sox-Orioles series.

All in all, while the "East Coast" bias is happening, it shouldnt be. What should be happening is each team should get about the same # of games on national TV. I love it when they show a Warriors vs T-Wolves series on tv. It showcases some players that you would have never known about because the Heat were killing the Kings instead.

[B]BRING THE PAIN!!![B]

June 20, 2011  07:50 AM ET

I don't think I would characterize it as "good" necessarily but from a purely business standpoint, it is completely understandable. The networks and leagues are businesses and as such, exist purely to make a profit. They will utilize the strategy that maximizes returns on the investment of assets. Sports fans often forget this fact and start to think of networks and leagues as existing for their benefit and pleasure. This is just not the reality. They will schedule the games or promote the stories that are most likely to get the most attention. It isn't about "fair" it is about "$"

June 20, 2011  09:20 AM ET

I am good.

June 20, 2011  09:53 AM ET

eh, nvm

June 20, 2011  10:14 AM ET

Anyone know when that Hockey Tourney that was discussed last week is gonna start?

June 20, 2011  10:22 AM ET

you wont find any hockey numbers because they gave the ol f you to espn and went with vs...and if its not basketball football or baseball si wants nothing to do with it

June 20, 2011  10:27 AM ET

I thought about taking this earlier but what i thought was going to be a solid arguement point totally backfired during research stage.

June 20, 2011  11:23 AM ET

Very good argument, I think people on the East coast are more DIE HARD fans when it comes to sports then people on the west coast and mid west. Essentially we have 3 HUGE sports market's in Philly, New York and Boston that dominate. The west coast/mid west can not compete with that. The mid west has Chicago, but I can't think of any city out west that is as DIE HARD with sports as Philly, New York and Boston. LA, Phoenix, San Fran (possibly except they don't have an NHL team and Golden State doesn't have a huge fan base), Seattle, St. Louis, are not great sports towns (especially compared to the East Coast cities).

Also, you didn't mention Hockey stats but I am pretty sure the East Coast has a strangle hold with that too. Philly, Pittsburgh, Boston, NY Rangers, NJ (minus this year), Washington D.C., all do extremely well in hockey. Even teams like Buffalo have a huge following in Hockey. The midwest of course has Detroit (but they have been dominate in Hockey for years) and Chicago but not much else.

June 20, 2011  11:33 AM ET

Great argument. After all, the East Coast is the best coast

June 20, 2011  12:43 PM ET
QUOTE(#8):

Very good argument, I think people on the East coast are more DIE HARD fans when it comes to sports then people on the west coast and mid west.

You don't know {{squat}} about fans out west, other than what you hear from someone else obviously.
Fact of the matter is, 'the Coach' hit the nail on the head. It's not so much a "good" thing as it is a business thing - there are more people in the eastern and central time zones than there are out west and as more and more east coast **** move out west, more western teams will start receiving more coverage, it's as simple as that
There's "east coast biased" because media outlets only care about how many people are watching, not where the stories come from. You think back in 2001 the Mariners didn't garner enormous amounts of coverage when they won 116 games? You bet they did.
The presses main agenda is to cover what people want to see and since there are apxy. 8 mil. people in NYC and only half of a million people in Seattle, which market would YOU cater to - if you were in the media.

June 20, 2011  02:09 PM ET

Makes some sense, as Coach said. For instance I live in Calif. and I'm more likely to be out playing a sport (golf, snowboarding, volleyball) than inside watching. On the east coast that is less likely to be the case.

June 20, 2011  04:11 PM ET

It is a great point, but a bad TD topic....its like starting a TD that says Michael Jordan is better than Adam Morrison. We all know the answer

June 20, 2011  05:34 PM ET
QUOTE(#12):

It is a great point, but a bad TD topic....its like starting a TD that says Michael Jordan is better than Adam Morrison. We all know the answer

adam morrison is the next big thing in the nba

June 20, 2011  07:18 PM ET

BRING THE PAIN !!!

June 20, 2011  08:05 PM ET
QUOTE(#8):

LA, Phoenix, San Fran (possibly except they don't have an NHL team and Golden State doesn't have a huge fan base

Dont limit it to San Francisco, consider it the Bay Area (SF/Oak/SJ all within 40 miles of each other) and you have a hockey team in the Sharks. San Jose is a larger city than SF and a large number of people going to all the SF games are from the south bay, its also generally considered the Bay Area market anyways not the San Francisco market.

Golden State doesnt have a large fan base? They have been the worst franchise in the NBA (yes worse than the Clippers) for the last 17 years and have 0 attendance issues. They sell out most games, and are one of the loudest arenas in the NBA. The team sold for an NBA record last year because of the fan dedication and potential in the market, not because of team succes.

June 20, 2011  08:17 PM ET

Pete, whats good?

June 20, 2011  08:25 PM ET

+1 for right.

June 20, 2011  08:47 PM ET
QUOTE(#16):

Pete, whats good?

Omw to work, thank god for smart phones with internet access

June 20, 2011  09:19 PM ET
QUOTE(#18):

Omw to work, thank god for smart phones with internet access

LOL.

June 20, 2011  09:19 PM ET
QUOTE(#18):

Omw to work, thank god for smart phones with internet access

You work a late shift?

 
June 20, 2011  09:23 PM ET

they are no more dedicated to there teams than the rest of the country.(SEE VANCOUVER)


Vancouver is dedicated to anarchy, riots, and making love in the middle of the street.

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