Suggested programming for regional New England Sports Networks
The Globe had an interesting article on the two regional New England sports networks -- CSNNE and NESN. Both have their respective niches and based on the article are both willing to explore new ideas in order to drive more viewers. What both are clearly lacking is Boston College content. While I appreciate the occasional taped piece that both will run on BC sports, there is a huge void. Both could and should do more. Given NESN and BC's relationship with the Red Sox, NESN's lack of BC programming is inexcusable. Here are my thoughts. All are relatively cheap and should be easy to implement.
1. Carry all ESPN3.com games live. NESN has numerous Red Sox scheduling conflicts during the fall, so this would probably have to fall to CSNNE. I don't know the logistics or what it would cost the network to buy the regional rights, but I know it is done in other parts of the country. I don't think it would be a huge ratings boost, but I know it would be a better draw than any alternate programming they would use instead (often other lower level college football games). Getting BC on TV screens instead of PC screens would be a huge improvement for fans in New England. Those of us outside the region with satellite/cable "sports packs" would also appreciate an alternative to watching on a laptop.
2. Replay of all games Sunday, Monday or Tuesday. This is another seemingly simple solution. I live in Atlanta and can see Big East games replayed on YES or SNY, but not a BC game. Something is wrong there. If the regional New York stations can acquire the rights and make money on Rutgers and UConn replays, there must be a market for it in Boston. This is something NESN could do with ease. They have the programming slots. They have the relationship with BC. They have a sponsorship base that I presume would like to extend their brands to TV ("The Giant Glass BC replay" or "BC rewind brought to you by BMW of Peabody").
3. Football and Basketball coaches shows.
I know this has been tried before with little ratings success. But that doesn't mean BC and the networks shouldn't keep trying. The cost to produce a show is minimal. All you need is Meter and the respective coach to talk for 20 minutes. Have a BC student produce a "field" piece each week for free and you are down to 16 minutes. No travel needed. Very few highlights needed. If NESN can make more money showing an informercial, than BC should buy the time. We waste money on so many things around the program, this seems like a straight forward way to sell the programs and help the coaches reach fans and future players.