Ralph Nader Calls for End to In-Game Ads During Baseball Game Radio Broadcasts

Consumer advocate Ralph Nader last week called on Major League Baseball (MLB) Commissioner Robert Manfred and MLB Chief Baseball Officer Joe Torre to drop in-game advertisements from baseball game radio broadcasts.

Joe Torre

Nader said that during one game earlier this year – the May 31, 2017 contest between the New York Yankees and Baltimore Orioles – there were 82 in-game ads – 21 in-game ads during the pre-game show, 15 in-game ads during the post-game show and a full 46 in-game ads during the game broadcast.

“Moreover, the 82 in-game ads do not include the scores of ads between innings or during the commercial breaks pre-game and post game,” said Nader.

“Between innings and during the commercial breaks is where ads belong – not during the game or during pre-game and post-game commentary,” Nader said. “The Yankees and other Major League Baseball teams are boorishly distracting fans from the game’s action, leading to unnecessary fan frustration.”

Rob Manfred

Nader continued by saying – “Yankee radio broadcasters John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman seem to barely hide their irritation at having to read incessant in-game ads over and over which take the spirit out of the game’s high points.”

In a letter to Manfred and Torre, Nader listed all 82 in game ads, including the following:

“The game time temperature is brought to you by Brothers Supply, your number one source for ice air PTACs, water source heat pumps and fan coils.”

“The call to the bullpen is brought to you by Geico, 15 minute can save you 15% or more on your car insurance.”

“The national anthem salute to America is brought to you by Mutual of America.”

“The first walk of the game brought to you by Intel Power 2 in 1, flexible as you are.”

“The defensive alignment is brought to you by Black Bear Forest Fresh deli meats, franks and cheeses, only at ShopRite.”

“The starting battery is brought to you by Interstate Battery Distributors of New York and Connecticut. Every battery for every need.”

“The seventh inning stretch is brought to you by Empire City Casino.”

“Growing up in Connecticut, I’d listen with pleasure to Mel Allen’s broadcasts of the New York Yankee games,” Nader said. “The few commercials were reserved for the commercial breaks – between half innings. Now, the commercials are increasingly taking over the game broadcast.”

“In professional baseball, commercialism has it’s place – between innings and during commercial breaks,” Nader said. “Commercialism should be off limits during the game.”

Ken Reed, sports policy director for League of Fans, a Nader-founded sports reform initiative, said that the number of in-game ads in baseball broadcasts today is “an egregious example of commercialization abuse in the world of sports.”

“These ads are clearly driven by greed, which seems to have no bounds.”

“Listening to the radio broadcasts of one’s favorite baseball team used to be a relaxing simple pleasure,” Reed said. “That is no longer the case as the proliferation of in-game ads has gone well beyond the level of basic annoyance.”

“During the off-season, let’s try and resolve this escalation before it consumes our national pastime,” Nader said. “The advertisers themselves should rethink why they expect irritated listeners to buy their products or services – that is if they even stay tuned for them.”


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