This is the star that the Television home of the Boston Celtics has attached its wagon to:
He is on their airwaves for about 8 hours a day, between the simulcast of the Felger and Mazz radio show, and UNO Sports Tonight and the repeat showings of that program.
While most “green teamers” can switch the radio during Felger’s show over to WEEI for semi-intelligent Celtics talk, CSNNE viewers. many of whom tune in to see the Celtics and programming related to them, have no equivalent alternative in that medium. NESN pretty much ignores the Celtics altogether, beyond cursory highlight packages.
The Celtics apparently, are OK with this arrangement.
“Green teamers” apparently occupy an even lower slot than “footy pajama Patriots fans” when it comes to Felger’s contempt. Not sure where the “Texas Tough Guy” fits in when compared to those two.
53 thoughts on “Way To Go, CSNNE.”
I wondered when this would become a topic.
Here’s the dilemma I think we’re faced with:
1.) You point out WEEI has pretty bland/bad Celtics talk. Found this true as I switched back and forth between streams. However, what is good NBA/Basketball talk? The “best” I’ve found was in very “basketball popular” markets like LA. Listen to ESPNLA (stream via ESPNRadio.com).
2.) Felger fakes his love for the NBA. He pointed out, yesterday, that he doesn’t hate the team but he does not like the sport.
3.) He did yesterday, which was, to be honest, but at least has devoted time/segments to having experts either on the phone or in-studio.
#1 is a prime way for WEEI to maybe get itself back in the ratings here. They already have the Celtics radio, so why not. SportsHub can’t do much here. I pointed out what I thought was a good broadcast, but my lack of fandom also precludes what I’d think is a good ear for saying what is good or bad on the topic.
#2 – He fakes it and now sounds like a bad sportstalk host, sounding like Lou Merloni talking about anything but baseball. Would his following and SportsHub listeners really like this? I can’t be sure but my money would be on a no here.
#3 – Apparently, they have GearBear scheduled for Wednesday’s cohost slot
because Mazz is on the 15day-DL with his injury. (Gasper co-hosted
yesterday.) You can’t fill up all four hours and it sounds like Mazz will be back starting late this week or early next. The Celtics will be a #1 topic for at least the next 20 days~ if they close out the Hawks tonight, so this wouldn’t work so well.
I think #3 is the only way to salvage his position here.
Felger has already said that he’s been “sent to the principal’s office” a few times by CSNNE about his hate. How much control does CSNNE have over what he says to the radio, even though it is simulcast? He said that they only expressed concern over what he said on pure CSNNE programs like Sports Tonight/Sports Sunday and not on the radio side. Still, maybe they say something to CBS?
Also, big news for Comcast customers: WatchESPN (on your tablet/computer) is available as of today. Also prepare for your bills to go up about $4/mo alone if you have the tier w/ESPN.
Since CSNNE does not have exclusive on Celtics like NESN did with NBCSN, is there any way of getting numbers? Bruce?
I’d love to see what the Celtics do on TNT vs Celtics on CSNNE for this market.
Does Chad Finn respond to emails?
During times like these, I get the impression Felger would rather be a
*national* personality than a local one. He’s just a huge ego and likes
saying outrageous, ridiculous things, not to mention serve as a
contrarian which would work on a national level on the bobblehead shows
of ESPN. Perhaps that’s his long term goal? Certainly a “highlight reel” like the one Bruce posted from yesterday’s show would help sell his “bad boy of Boston radio” persona to the suits in Connecticut.
I also think what’s going on here is that Felger just doesn’t care about being “brought into the principal’s office,” probably because the income they’re generating from TV isn’t nearly what he’s making from the radio side. I’m sure 98.5 could care less that he dislikes the Celtics and the NBA. CSNNE obviously DOES care, but beyond “advising him” how to direct his attacks, what options do they have? Drop the show, but then run Jenny Craig infomercials all afternoon? You have to think their ratings are higher (day time TV being what it is) even with Felger blitzing their own product all afternoon. Still it’s an embarrassment for the Celtics to have this contempt for the team and the sport running all day long as Bruce mentions (I admit my own personal outrage is tempered because I don’t like the NBA product at all, but if I were a big basketball fan, I’d be beyond upset at Felger’s pov).
Felger, the anti-conformist, being cool and fitting in at a OCD/control-freak environment like ESPN? He’d last 2 weeks before telling a boss to f-off.
Plus, between TSH/CSNNE, I’d assume he makes salary on a similar level to someone who has periodic on-air appearances but not a show. (I don’t know but just going off numbers I’ve heard from people in the industry and what is out there.)
Maybe, but they have plenty of blowhard panelists who do nothing but sit around and opine the way he does just for effect. I agree, I’m sure he’s making a ton here — but maybe he’ll be the next Jim Rome and do his shtick on a national level.
Just throwing it out there. To me the way he rags on the Celtics is ridiculous given he’s employed by their TV arm. Makes zero sense.
Eventually, if he hasn’t already, he will become white noise and his rants will fall upon deaf ears. It’s not a long-term solution for success in this market.
I refuse to play into Felgers hands. He wants outrage! He wants the attention hence the contrarian viewpoint. I for one wont bite.
Couldn’t agree more. I know that 99% of the things he says (whether he actually believes them or not) are going to piss me off, so I don’t listen or watch. If I watch the 6 pm news show or 6:30 sports tonight and they cut to him in his radio studio I just change the channel. I very rarely watch the late show because I know he’ll be on.
Bruce I’ve said this in different ways time and time again and I know that I sound like an EEI suck up, and that’s okay with me. However let me say it again, I know his numbers are great in terms of ratings but I don’t believe Felger is the best in this town, I believe he and 98.5 benefit from the dislike people have for EEI. In my opinion he does lazy sports talk which is if he hates a certain sport, he just rips it,he doesn’t try to break anything down about certain games or certain sports does little or no research on the sports on the sport or person he hates because he realizes at this point his ratings are so good it doesn’t matter if he does real work or not. But hey, he’s getting away with it so why not right? There’s hard hitting and then there is unprofessional, and Mike Felger is unprofessional in my opinion. He has somehow been able to convince this city that what he and Mazz does is hard nose tell it like it is radio and it’s not. I have issues with EEI as well and even though Ordway talks over people, and D&C get a little nuts, they prepare and they give good sports talk,nevr mind what we think of them personally. I’ll give it to Felger he is abslolutely benefiting from the dislike of EEI but it’s lazy radio and thats why I’m okay with WEEI.
Whereas I have argued something similar in the past…at least before the Big Show changed formats and added Holley, I think it is wrong to out right dismiss Felger as unprofessional. I think he has tapped into a current of thought that is quite frankly tired of the way Professional Athletes and the organizations that employ them treat their fans. I listen to the diatribe posted by Bruce and I think…yeah I can see all of that. I hear him question the legitimacy of the latest Beckett injury and I say I was thinking the same thing. I listen to him question why this years Bruins failed and I think he is bringing a view point no one else is bringing…at least not in the Boston media. But then I hear him slam Bill Belichick as a gm and I think…this guy is a total tool who does not know what he is talking about.
My larger point is I think there is a lot of anger in the fan bases in Boston. Yes there has been a lot of success lately but…and there is always a but…there has been a lot of frustration with high ticket prices, ridiculous concession and parking prices, all to pay huge salaries to players who are somehow not living up to expectations. Felger has tapped into this frustration and is its main voice. He does so with sarcasm and charm coupled with self depreciating humor that makes you think he is one of you. As such his points resonate.
I do not listen to the Ordway and Holley show…it is unlistenable as far as I am concerned. Compared to Felger and Mazz the show is slow, disjointed and not entertaining. I listen to Felger and Mazz more and more because they are able to generate passion in their discussions and callers. I like that and evidently so do the majority of listeners in the Boston market. I don’t think their fan base is just anti WEEI…there is something more.
One last thing, I have argued many times that I think the baseball reporters is a much better vehicle for Tony Mazz than the F&M show. Let me also state that Felger with a cohost like Sean McAdam as was the teaming last Thursday I think…is a much better show because Felger is forced to be focused and defend opinions.
While you make excellent points regarding his ability to tap into a certain amount of frustration, when it comes to the NBA & the Celtics, his behavior is totally unprofessional. It is one thing to express hatred for the team and the league, it is another to offer opinions on a sport he has NO knowledge of.
Andy…I think your argument is exactly why and how he is being successful at mocking the NBA. I think ongoing narrative about the NBA is that the sport is so simple, predictable and in his mind fixed that it has reached the level of Pro wrestling and gone from being a sport to sports entertainment. I think there are a lot of frustrated basketball fans who don’t disagree with him. If you spend 5 minutes listening to Tim Donahey you certainly have to give credibility to Felger’s position. So because he feels that the league is a fraud, that the play sucks, and that the players aren’t really ‘competing I don’t think he spends time to cover or discuss the nuances of the play. As such a fan such as you will get frustrated with his act. The problem as I see it is if he is right, that the game is barely one step more legitimate than WWE matches, then why should a sports talker actually be covering it?
To add to this point. From last night:
@jwindog The line in the Spurs game was 7.5. Utah hits a layup with 3 seconds left to lose by 6.
Remember that Hawks OT disaster with the refs where the Celtics were 12-4 in fouls? Spread was Celtics -3 and the Hawks were able to lose by 2 thanks to the fouls.
And, this just broke today:
(This must be the 10th scandal in 5 years with Italian soccer.)
This is why I stopped caring about the NBA and feel the same as many do.
What I find interesting is that when you and Felger don’t like something, it is not legitimate.
Fine, you are both entitled to your opinion. However, I have not heard anything from him or you that changes my perception that he cannot have a legitimate discussion about basketball because of his lack of knowledge about such sport.
Seriously…you do not think I laid out why Felger dislikes the NBA clear enough. Let me try again. He does not think it is a sport because he thinks the outcomes are fixed…like the WWE. As such he does not think it is worth time and energy to break it down and discuss it. He may be wrong, he may be right…I don’t know..but I think it is a compelling argument considering what Tim Donehey says regularly and what you see not he court. Go back and rematch that clip Bruce posted. He is claiming that everything that happens around the Celtics is predictable (scripted). It watches like an insiders look at a ProWrestling match.
By the way, I am not trying to sway you to my side of this. I have a 7 year old nephew who loves the NBA that I watch games with occasionally and do not ruin the kayfabe for him. It reminds me of when I was little and my grandfather would watch the old WWF with me, smiling, each time I said “I wonder who will win” or “how did he come back from that”.
your two points:
“ridiculous concession and parking prices, all to pay huge
salaries to players who are somehow not living up to expectations.
Felger has tapped into this frustration and is its main voice. He does
so with sarcasm and charm coupled with self depreciating humor that
makes you think he is one of you.”
“Compared to Felger and Mazz the show is slow,
disjointed and not entertaining. I listen to Felger and Mazz more and
more because they are able to generate passion in their discussions and
Bingo! Could not have said it better.
Late, he asolutely benefits from the dislike of WEEI. He does not speak for the fans one bit. These are is own personal views as far as hating the NBA. I don’t hear too many fans saying the hate the sport, they express frustration and anger with their teams but there is no one else in town coming out and saying they hate these teams,only Felger is doing that. Last night on Comcast he called out few of the Celtics saying right now they’re not hurt, including Ray Allen and when Michael Holley gave him some facts regarding Ray’s injury, he starting reaching for his opinion. Now isn’t that hypocritcal, I thought he only dealt with “fact and not opinion”. Bottom line is he is trying too hard to “tell it like it is” and now he’s being unprofessional. It’s uncomfortable listening to this guy and I’m sure there are many of his colleagues who feel that way. Except for Mazz who agrees with just about everything Felger says.
Mishnorv, I am not doubting that some of the people tuning into him were alienated by WEEI but if you look at the ratings numbers he has created and generated an audience all to himself. His numbers now are better than WEEI’s big show were 3 years ago before the competition. Do I think he is a contrarian…absolutely. Do I think he tries to be provocative, yes. Do I think he has managed to identify in each sport a position that is shared by a large portion of the fan base such that people tune in day in and day out to listen to him…when there are alternatives (WEEI, Michael Graham, Howie Carr, music, WGBH, Sean Hannity)..yes! That is why he is being so successful. I don’t think his take on the Celtics is that absurd…not nearly as absurd as I think his views on Bill Belichick are. But he is paid to generate conversation and he is doing it extremely well…because he has figured out why Boston fans are angry and can exploit it. Good for him.
Late, I have to tell you he’s doing great now but it’s going to be really hard to keep up this pace of playing psychologist (figuretively speaking) and thinking he speaks to the anger of Boston fans. Ratings are great but I’m not sure about his crediblity as a go to guy to hear good sports talk. it’s genius what he’s able to do, I hear you on that but I think radio and TV are two different mediums and when you take to this level where you try to be the same guy on TV you’re going to run into trouble in terms of consistency and TV will eventually expose that.
I don’t think we disagree…Eddie Andelman eventually had his fans turn on him after 30 years. Glenn Ordway’s are in the process of shutting him out as well. But I think Fleger’s act has a lot of legs especially if the current Sox ownership continues to be mind boggling stupid and if the NBA does not clean up its act.
Agree with your point on Eddie but I don’t believe Ordway is anywhere near that point. The guy is still relevant, he knows his stuff. He’s a longtime NBA guy who appreciate what it is today, they do make fun of hockey on EEI but I’ve never heard them trash the the sport. Saying the NBA should clean up their act is one thing but to say players aren’t hurt and things of that nature is a whole other level. We’ll see where this schtick goes for “felgy”.
I have said it before many times on this board. I really like Glenn Ordway, but not in the role that he is in now. He is great when he is the facilitator, vacillator of a conversation between experts. When he has to give his opinion on anything but Basketball it is difficult to listen to. His thoughts on the NBA recently are filled with lots of conditionals and subjunctives as if he does not really like where the game has gone either but he is too proud to admit it.
I agree. Kind of like Felger on anything but hockey.
Felger is “charming”? Have to totally disagree with you there…that’s pretty much the LAST word I’d use to describe him. I also don’t hear the “self depreciating humor” either when it comes to him ranting on about everything he hates. He’s more insufferable, especially also when he starts an infrequent commentary about politics or religion. It’s like he can’t understand or respect any other point of view except his own.
I’m not a fan of the new Big Show at all but to say F&M is more entertaining? I guess your tolerance for all things Felger is higher than mine.
I do agree about the baseball reporters. It’s the only time Mazz is listenable. Really Felger & Mazz is more like The Michael Felger Show with Mazz sitting around cashing a massive check for doing absolutely nothing.
He is charming…his midwest pronunciation of Yiddish words, his self depreciation, his acknowledgement of Marrying up etc…are all part of his charm. You can say a lot of things about Felger…and i have typed may of them on the pages of BSMW…but you do not get to be as successful as he is without a bit of charm.
If things don’t work out with Mrs. Underwood, sounds like he won’t have any problems finding company.
And it’s “deprecation”, unless we’re coming up with a purchase price for Felger at an auction which is not a bad idea I might add.
Sorry about the deprecation…I misspelled it originally and it autocorrected…my bad.
I am just making an observation. I am not a fan of Felger’s but I think I can be enough of an objective observer to understand and explain why he is successful.
Not a fan? You could’ve fooled me. You’ve said he’s charming and is the voice of the “fan base.”
I am not a fan. I written some of the most scathing critiques of his work on this board. I am especially harsh on him when he talks football. Being a fan and understanding why someone is successful are two different things.
Appropriately given your name, I’m late to respond to this, Late. But I have to say this might be one of your best posts on this site, as you perfectly summed up the fascination that is one Michael Felger. I’m not sure exactly how long MF’s shelf life will be in Boston, but keep in mind that both Eddie Andelman and Glenn Ordway have had radio careers in the three-decade range and were relevant for most of them.
The last line of your post sums it up best – maybe we can start up a collection on this site and pay to get Felger a new co-host who will call him when he goes off the deep end, which sadly is too often.
First off…CSSNE has excellent online streaming clip quality. But that was not your concern/complaint…you want to know why CSSNE, the flagship of the Celtics TV is allowing this guy 8 hours of air time to talk negatively about their product. I have a few theories.
1- As I argued with 98.5’s coverage of the Patriots, I think the Sports teams owners who are making huge dollars off these local affiliate broadcast rights deals are not being proactive enough in protecting their brands. I am not sure it is because they do not see the harm, or that they think they have to maintain distance to allow the media outlets to appear “neutral” and “objective” otherwise they will be perceived as an in house media organization ala PFW. Either way they use no leverage to monitor this type of thing…at least none that we, the public, know about.
2- Any press is good press. Felger slamming the product with the ratings he has makes people tune in to see if he is right. They may all be laughing to the bank if this is indeed true.
3- Felger is right. So as much as the Celtics brass do not want to see their product slighted, and as much as CSSNE wants to keep the Celtics happy, they have an equal if not greater financial stake in Felger. His audience has accepted or embraced his position on the Celtics so CSSNE wants to have it both ways. His audience is the largest in the market and as such he is making them dollars.
Great points here.
1.) I throw this also at ESPN with the NFL. This week, ESPN’s OTL is doing FIVE one-hour (OTL is normally 30 minutes) segments on concussions in the NFL. Paying them $2.1b/yr gives you immunity for arguably the biggest issue facing any sport that could easily wind up costing them billions per year over the next.
However, after ESPN was burned on the Sandusky thing, they’ve become hypersensative to missing scandals to a point now where I think they’ve crossed the journalism line into borderline scandal (see the Saints wiretap stuff and their coverage of the Syracuse/Bernie Fine).
So far, they’ve done nothing but “comprehensive” reporting but if they’ve devoted 10 hours this week alone to the concussion things, I expect ESPN to try and own/get out behind every single concussion story (including using their clout for the research).
Now, tie this back into SportsHub: Does TSH tell Felger to fake his love for the NBA and it hits on point #2. Do you really want him “faking” his love for the NBA on the air for 4 hours a day and maybe the 3 months of prime-time NBA talk during the year.
Happy medium could be mandating more time devoted to the NBA during segments.
2.) I tuned into each show today (in the background so I missed a lot of finer points) and T+R and G+Z weren’t killing the NBA. Maybe TSH is fine with only Felger doing this if he’s the only host leading the charge here?
3.) Thus far, the ratings have shown what you said. Up until he starts really losing an audience, what can they do? He said, yesterday, that the “Celtics Brass” were apparently fine thus far with his positions (laughing about it).
Still, this is an interesting thing to watch.
Another great post by you. One thing to add…Bruce Allen could probably confirm what I am going to say with real numbers but I think Felgers daily ratings on TSH are about 3 times greater than Ceptics radio ratings on WEEI. Further I think the Simulcast on CSSNE draws a similar rating to non playoff Celtic games. Lastly, and I know this might be nit picking but there is a difference between slamming the NBA in general for its lousy product and directly attacking the Celtics brand. I think Felger is pretty good about drawing that distinction. He is open about growing up a Bucs fan but he has respect for the Celtics brand. WHat he does not like is the sports entertainment that basketball has become. I am not so sure he is wrong.
I’ve asked before to Bruce if he could get NESN/CSNNE simulcast numbers. And, do those numbers, for the investment CSNNE has in it, make sense? I’m not sure if you’re allowed to post, if you have permission to see.
(Yes, CSNNE uses the live-video when they go to Felger or someone else at 6:30 for SportsTonight)
I would assume that the partnership makes little to no money but only enhances the brand.
I doubt the simulcast makes much money for CSSNE. However the partnership with Felger must be making them money otherwise they would move on.
Felger is an absolute joke, I change the station to WEEI immediately whenever he starts ranting about the Celtics and basketball. He is an unprofessional turd. The Celtics and CSN are stupid if they allow him to continue much longer. I know several people who have been swayed by his moronic opinions and no longer follow the Celtics. Get rid of him!!
He is worse than WEEI. That is tough to do. I cannot believe this is the guy I listened to on 890.
Felger claimed on CSNNE last night that “he saw this coming” in regards to the Celtics current playoff run all the way back in April when they beat Miami in a home and home. Which is funny, because I remember after the first game his claim was “well, sometimes in that league, teams take a night off, and that’s what the Heat did last night.”
I’ve said it once, I’ll say it again. Felger is doing to basketball what WEEI did to Hockey (though it slightly different manners). F&M will sometimes talk about the NBA, but Felger just trashes the sport with hate and venom. His “toadie”, though claiming to like the NBA, never seems to challenge him on it. WEEI did the same with Hockey, though used humor and “Hockey Talk” segment to belittle the sport. We know how it played out for WEEI (mainly the Big Show) so we shouldn’t be surprised if something similar is in the future for TSH.
I wondered what the response would be in #1. Here’s the thing: unless the Celtics go far here and continue to go far, will it be an issue if they, say, do whatever this year but become perennial 1st-round exits like the Magic?
I don’t know.
What you brought up is about as much of a projection as you can get, if someone @ TSH doesn’t change things and the Celtics continue to make it past the 1st round/be good.
So what you are saying, Winning, is that Felger is the new Eddie Andelman when he coined the phrase Hockey Krishna’s and proceeded to trash Harry Sinden and the Jacobs family not he air for 30 years. I agree with you, with one caveat. I think Eddie was successful because Harry Sinden was stupid. I think Felger is being successful because David Stern is pure evil. One was team focused and talent related, the other is a product of poor league management and a cult mentality.
My problem isn’t with someone not liking the NBA. I will admit, this past regular season I watched the least amount of NBA probably since 1993. However, Felger has said on the air that he enjoys that hockey is back, and he is doing to the NBA what people did to hockey in this area. My problem is what that statement because talk radio is not about someone’s personal revenge tirade against those who wronged him and his sport.
I don’t think we are disagreeing Winning. Although Hockey is only back in Boston and even here I am still sticking by my observation that no one really cares. Felger is only able to make the NBA stuff stick because people listening are relating to it or agreeing with it. The NBA right now is its own worst enemy.
Agreed, David Stern and the “Lebronification” of NBA players has turned me off to watching non-celtics games. NBA does lend itself to easy picking.
This might be a post for a separate thread, but would there be a way to move the comments down? Anytime we go >20, and the threads keep indenting, it can get hard to read/follow a conversation as it goes on. I looked @ some of the CSS/HTML and it’d require some changes to the way you lay it out.
Here’s my two cents. As soon as I hear NBA or Celtics I just turn Felger off. He’s made a living off four or five things which he will repeat 1000 times.
a) Randy Moss is a turd
b) the BBWAA has a stick up its a**.
c) The cap is crap and the Patriots have failed trading for “value.” (Gotta love how good the Jets are…:)
d) the NBA sucks and
e) Playoff hockey is the greatest thing ever.
The problem is not with Felger is that NO ONE on the other side of the microphone will regularly stand up to him and tell him WHY he’s wrong, simplistic and boring. McAdam will do it once in a while but he’s not on enough. Gasper starts doing it and then ends up agreeing with Felger and Mazz is a joke.
The sad part is that with the exception of the utter juvenile, irrational hate of the NBA I actually like listening to Felger. Don’t get me wrong I think the biggest problem with the NBA has been the two decade ruin by David Stern. However I still like the game. Hate LeBron but like the game.
Felger is just the Mean Gene Okerlund of sports talk radio. Just pretend his inane rants are just elbow smashes off the top rope and move on the something more constructive.
I happen to enjoy Felger because i take him with a grain of salt. As for the ‘Green Teamers’ Felger often uses this to tweak Tanguay and Dickerson who even diehards would have to admit, go overboard for the C’s. If you can be objective enough not to get insulted every time Mike says something negative about your team then you have graduated from the ‘EEI School of Rumpswabbing.
Yeah, it’s a bit annoying. Even a caller called him a refresh for being an anti-homer. How many of the Green Teamers were basically looking ahead, game 5 a done deal, and.. look what happened.
The NBA is one step up from the WWE. They have dirty refs, rigged drafts and very few truly competitve games.
I’m amazed people actually pay money to watch it.
Love it when Felger tweaks the Greenies.
The NBA has plenty of issues (horrible officiating, star calls and Stern’s reign of error) but this Celtics team is the anthesis of everything that people hate about the league. That would be an interesting talking point but not if you’re playing the role of rodeo clown.
Some people never worked a day in their life, don’t know what “work” even means. Pop the sports bubble so these fat talentless hacks have to go get real jobs.
It’s just a radio show. It’s just opinions. Who cares.
here’s a real quote from felger ” “I think the Celtics are real and they are a threat and I hate it… basketball sucks.”
this is soooooo bad!
Comments are closed.