In an apparent nod to the two-year effort by the Marlins organization to secure as many first-round first picks as statistically possible, sports broadcasting giant ESPN has scheduled opening day television coverage of the Marlins home opener at 7 PM on March 31, 2014 on ESPN2.
In a move that is sure to surprise baseball fans across the country, the 100-loss Marlins are being thrust into the Opening Day limelight. In keeping with our hard-hitting tradition of being the first to break any Marlins news, Marlin Maniac reached out to several key decision makers at Disney/ESPN, MLB, the Marlins, and many of the key advertisers. In an effort to provide an even comparison of the responses we received to our digging, we are presenting the data in the form of a survey, with the various answers alongside the questions.
1) “Thanks for taking the time to speak with us today. We’d like to ask about your initial reaction when you heard the Marlins would be on prime time Opening Day ESPN coverage”
- ESPN: “Prime time? [expletive deleted]!” [muffled, to someone in the background at ESPN] “Have security escort the VP of MLB programming out of the building, and get me the number of our executive recruiter.”
- MLB: “Major League Baseball intends to keep its zero-tolerance policy regarding PED use, and is committed to keeping America’s Pastime the cleanest sport around. Any speculation….Wait. What was the question again?”
- The Marlins: “Yippee!! We’re gonna be on TV!! You guys wanna come over my house an see my train I got for Christmas?”
i. Ford Motor Co: “The Miami Who?”
ii. Coca-Cola: “Jimmy? C’mon, I know this is you, Jimmy. Quit kidding around. I’m really busy.”
iii. Joe’s Storm Door and Alligator Removal Service: “Thrilled to bits. Happy to be a part of the ESPN broadcasting team. We really feel this is the kind of programming our customer base really resonates with.”
2) What were the key factors that went into your decision to air the Marlins game. Specifically, What is it about the Marlins that you felt would help increase viewership and ratings? Was it Giancarlo Stanton? Jose Fernandez? Marlins Park?
- ESPN [disconnected]
- MLB: MLB: “Major League Baseball intends to keep its zero-tolerance policy regarding PED use, and is committed to keeping America’s Pastime the cleanest sport around. Any speculation….Wait. What was the question again?”
- The Marlins: “Do you guys watch SpongeBob?”
i. Ford Motor Co.:[disconnected]
ii. Coca-Cola: [disconnected]
iii. Joe’s Storm Door and Alligator Removal Service: “Do you think we oughta run a Groupon?”
At this point, we concluded our interviews, and are simply looking forward to enjoying the first day of baseball after the brutal winter of January 10-12, 2014. Seriously, it got down to the mid 40s down here. For like two straight days. We were scrambling around trying to find the fireplace channel.