As it has been stated, probably more than needed, the royals used to be popular, and now aren't so much. Well most of this has to do with the fact that they are not winning like they used to. But there are other major major factors in my mind.
The unusual radio stations post sparked my memory on some things and also lead me to the Red's article linked in that piece.
This quote was given as to why the Red's radio affiliates have dwindled. He contributed it to the fact that the Red's radio network was no longer run in house.
"When (Reds broadcasting director) Jim Witers was alive, it was all run in-house," Brennaman said. "The teams with the biggest radio networks in baseball were the Reds, the St. Louis Cardinals and the Kansas City Royals. "
Notice our club was on that list of biggest radio network?
Those three teams were three of the most popular teams in the country. Why because of winning and mainly exposure. They were on the radio and were easy to follow. Families planned trips down to KC to see their favorite team play.
Which teams are the most popular now? I'd have to say Cubs, Braves, Red Sox, Yankees. The first two primarily because of their large tv network. People like the teams they are familiar with. People support the team they are familiar with. People travel and pay money to see the team they are familiar with. More exposure, more people tuning in is a good thing for mlb.
Which brings me to my single biggest sore spot with MLB.
Obviously I am a Royals fan. I go to school in Ames, IA. WGN has the Cubs and White Sox. FSN has the cardinals and sometimes Twins. TBS has/had the braves. ESPN has the Red Sox/Yankees. So realizing I couldn't see my favorite team I got on MLB.tv only to find something horrible out.
The White Sox, Cubs, Royals, Cardinals, Brewers and Twins are in Iowa's Local region. Meaning that all their games are blacked out from MLB.tv. How dumb is that? Does MLB expect me to drive down 4 hours for a weekday game? They claim allowing these teams to be on mlb.tv hurts their ticket sales because people will stay at home and watch instead of go. But who the hell is making up this theory.
1. People who know the players and watch the team play on tv will be MORE likely to go down to KC and watch. Therefore there would be a net gain in ticket sales if they allowed the Royals to be shown.
2. Who cares if they watch instead of go to the game. The service is still over a hundred dollars a year, take the money as a source of revenue and move on.
If that doesn't piss me off enough, here is the real kicker. The emergence of the tv network structure and mlb.tv blackout has KILLED royals support in Iowa. Iowa is home to tons of gereral baseball fans who want teams to follow and know about. When the Royals were the easiest team to follow the state had a large contingent of KC faithful.
But now the Royals are screwed because they are no where near easy to follow as compared with other teams or otherwise. They aren't on tv, over the air or cable, which means they attract no new fans just looking for a team and baseball on the tube. They are doubly screwed because fans they already have are not able to watch the Royals, but are able to see 3 or 4 other teams. What do you think a large number of these fans do? They switch favorite teams. I know it has been much harder to follow the royals with no tv games, and nothing on the news. And I can see how a much lesser man would make the switch to the cardinals after such prolonged torture.
MLB has way to much power over tv networks and is extremely unfair to fans and teams. Let fans have the ability to see their favorite teams. This is fair to the fans, makes the playing field more level for teams to attract fans, and for God's sake is good for the bottom line of MLB franchises. How can they be against that.