Don’t Like Rinkside View? Fox Sports West/Prime Ticket Says, Then “Don’t Watch”

LOS ANGELES — The way behavioral traits such as politeness, common courtesy, professionalism, etc., have often gone by the wayside over the last twenty years, no one should be surprised by the vitriol from both sides of the increasingly heated furor over Fox Sports West/Prime Ticket’s (FSW/PT) use of “rinkside view” (see Rinkside View Loses By Landslide Margin) on their high definition (HD) broadcasts of Los Angeles Kings and Anaheim Ducks games this season.

To be sure, the threats, epithets and foul language aimed at Tom Feuer, Executive Director of FSW/PT, are unwarranted. However, the reasons behind the heavy, angry criticism aimed at him are quite valid.

In an article by Curtis Zupke in the Orange County Register’s Ducks Blog entitled, “Upon Further Review..‘Rinkside’ Not Going Away,” Feuer, for all intents and purposes, told dedicated viewers of Kings and Ducks broadcasts to deal with it or go [insert your favorite expletive here] themselves.

“I’m going to get killed for this,” Feuer told the Register. “But if these people truly don’t like ‘Rinkside View,’ then don’t watch.”

Although it is clear that this comment is an obvious reference to ratings for the rinkside view broadcasts, it is, nevertheless, a blatant display of arrogance and a total lack of professionalism.

As stated in Frozen Royalty’s op-ed piece on this subject on October 30, “…Kings and Ducks broadcasts have traditionally suffered from poor ratings and FSW/PT is obviously testing rinkside view in the hopes that it will give their Kings and Ducks broadcasts a boost in viewership.”

Indeed, ratings are up for the rinkside view telecasts.

“It seems to me the ratings for these games are up ," said Feuer. “We’re getting a ton of e-mails, and most are negative. But I think that the people that don’t like something are the ones that will do something about it, and the ones that like it will continue to watch.”

“They may not like it, but they seem to want to watch it,” added Feuer, who said that ratings for rinkside view broadcasts of Kings games have jumped 200 percent, and 20 percent for Ducks telecasts, with the October 14 game between the two clubs earning the second-highest rating since the 2004-05 lockout.

No one can blame FSW/PT for attempting to boost their ratings. After all, higher ratings translates into higher advertising revenues. That said, the tremendous arrogance displayed by Feuer has understandably and justifiably made Kings and Ducks fans seethe with anger.

Although some have called for Feuer’s head, it is highly unlikely that he will be fired. However, it is clear that he has acted without regard to the existing viewer base for Kings and Ducks telecasts. Rather, he has tossed them out with the garbage—sacrificing them by gambling on a gimmick aimed at attracting new viewers.

And while ratings may be up for the rinkside view broadcasts, one thing Feuer is ignoring (or, more likely, does not understand) is that the Kings are a more entertaining team and are a better team so far this season. Despite that, fans are not showing up at the arena—many have clearly chosen to stay home and watch the games on television instead.

Although this likely does not explain all the reasons for the ratings increase, given the circumstances and the state of the economy, it has to be a highly significant factor, one that FSW/PT has not, in all likelihood, taken into consideration. After all, it is all about the ratings, baby.

I have already written about why rinkside view is nothing more than a badly thought-out gimmick in my earlier piece, so I will not belabor the point. However, based on Feuer’s arrogant, go-screw-yourselves attitude, it is time for the management of the Kings and Ducks, if they have the authority, to stand up for their fans—they have to be angry that Feuer told their fans “…not to watch.” Indeed, even though the vast majority of these viewers may not be season ticket holders or luxury suite holders, the Kings and Ducks must now demand that FSW/PT dump rinkside view once and for all.

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15 thoughts on “Don’t Like Rinkside View? Fox Sports West/Prime Ticket Says, Then “Don’t Watch”

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  1. Although I understand what FSN is doing, Tom’s casual dismissal of fan concerns is a joke. Unfortunately, the only way we can punish him is to also punish ourselves by not watching the games. And even then, only Nielsen homes count.

  2. Don’t mind if I don’t. This is just the final straw in what was going to be a very difficult year to remain interested in the Kings. First they raised ticket prices when the product quality dipped, now they’re turning-off long time FSN viewers with their “take it or leave it” offer. I’ll leave it.

  3. Hey Tom Feuer, I don’t like Rinkside View, so I shouldn’t watch. Ok, I won’t watch then. Oh, by the way, my household has just become a Nielsen Family household. I’ll be more than happy to make sure that no Fox Sports broadcasts make their way into our TV viewing journals. I’m sure your shareholders and advertising sales department will appreciate that.

  4. Dear Tom,

    If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. So, when the novelty wears off and after you have alienated so many long-term Kings fans with your callous arrogance, don’t expect us to feel bad when you ultimately get the axe. Keep on ignoring your fan base and both you and the rinkside view will soon be history. I would rather go the game than watch your nauseating telecasts, and for $10.00 a ticket, I will.

  5. Given that hockey has ratings that are so low that ESPN passed in favor of re-runs of spelling bees, an increase of 200% could represent 1,000 more viewers. Since the Staples Center has been attracting about 3,000 fewer or so per game it’s not hard to do the math. Figure also that people are watching more because the games with the awful rinkside view are in HD and hockey is just better in HD and i think you have your answer. I can’t imagine any single person would cite the rinkside view as the reason they are watching Kings or Ducks games this year. It sounds to me like Mr. Feuer is trying to justify an expense to his bosses. I suspect he’s going to have more to explain to his bosses than the wasted expense on the poor camera angles offered by rinkside view—such as why he thought it prudent to tell a print journalist that people who didn’t like said poor camera angles should just “not watch.” Stay tuned for the spin.

  6. I was excited to find out that my cable provider in Brooklyn, NY was carrying the Center Ice HD feed of select games. So imagine my disappointment at firing up the first Kings-Ducks HD game and seeing…Rinkside View. I think it can actually be very useful for replays, but right now it causes more problems than it solves for watching the game in real time. I think that broadcasting from traditional angles in HD solves many of the problems that Rinkside View is supposed to address. I agree that Rinkside View communicates the speed on the ice, but it does so at the expense of the larger factors in the game. Hockey is a sport where so much depends on the other players besides the puck carrier, and Rinkside View largely ignores this fact. Finally, I think that Tom Feuer’s bottom-line reliance on the ratings ignores the fact that fans will put up with Rinkside View simply to watch the Kings. That doesn’t mean that they’re enjoying Rinkside View, it just means that it’s the only way for them to watch the game.

  7. Also, I’ll be letting the advertisers know that I won’t be using their services SPECIFICALLY because of Mr. Feurer’s comments and attitude. If the reason for keeping Rinkside View is because of increased ratings (and increased ad revenue), then that’s the only way to get through to Mr. Feurer.

  8. If Fox wants to continue with their broadcasts in RSV, so be it.
    I didn’t want a year-long lockout, and I didn’t want Lubo, Cammo, and Tukonen traded, either, but what choice do I have? I’m lucky to be able to watch from home at all as for years (years ago) my cable company, Falcon, didn’t carry Prime Ticket/FSW.
    Besides, the ice conditions are a bigger issue. If Staples isn’t going to do anything about it the Kings, and we, have to live with it. Nobody even seems to care anyway.
    Rinkside View is getting better slowly, as well.

  9. Everyone should go out and by Tom Feuer’s new book which is on sale at the $1.99 rack at Borders. Great title and very witty on his end. It is called How To Alienate Fans & Act Arrogantly. I have had minimum wage assistants work for me with more of a clue on how to handle public relations than this hack. I am sure Tom enjoyed his email and phone after uttering those completely idiotic comments. Your bosses now love you Tom for reaching out to the fans.

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