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Thursday, October 21, 2010

East Coast Bias, Baseball Ruining SF Workers' Productivity

Posted By on Thu, Oct 21, 2010 at 9:12 AM

click to enlarge Their generation didn't get anything done either
  • Their generation didn't get anything done either
Their generation didn't get anything done either
The San Francisco Giants' playoff push is a good thing for area baseball fans, which in turn is not-so-great for the Bay Area businesses which employ them, according to a report issued Wednesday.

"Workers in San Francisco will likely accomplish less this week because of the series," said John Challenger, CEO of a Chicago-based firm that studies such things (and arguably doesn't get much done himself, if that's what he's doing at work), according to Bay City News.

"People come in to work late or not at all, or leave early, or take longer smoking breaks talking about the game," said Challenger, who noted that even if workers are at their desks, posts or switches, their minds are elsewhere. "It creates a real productivity drain."

This was evident Tuesday. As SF Weekly reported, the Giants' lunchtime tilt distracted reporters and politicians alike. But who's really to blame for baseball during working hours?

Easy: East Coast bias.


Playing the games at a normal hour in San Francisco would mean East Coast viewers would see Tim Lincecum pitch tonight at 10 p.m. That is of course unacceptable, for both bedtimes and advertisers. So MLB and their broadcasting partners schedule the first pitch for 4:57 p.m., meaning East Coasters get the game at a more reasonable (and lucrative) prime time 7:57 p.m.

Tuesday's broadcast schedule was perhaps the most ludicrous for us, as it put the Giants on the field in the middle of the afternoon (and a 4 p.m. start on the East Coast, too, not ideal for them either). Then right when we'd rid ourselves of that distraction, the ALCS matchup between the Yankees and Rangers began at 4:57 p.m. Pacific.

Challenger's report concluded that in the long-term, all this baseball-watching might actually help Bay Area firms struggling to stay afloat. "It does bring people together, and you look for ways to do that in today's business environment, where people are so much more isolated and short-tenured," he told Bay City News.

Yet it also leads otherwise-diligent reporters to write about broadcast schedules and sports. So yes: we won't get anything of import done until the Giants win the World Series, when we'll turn our attention to bigger and better things. Like Twitter.

Speaking of, follow us on Twitter at @SFWeekly and @TheSnitchSF

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About The Author

Chris Roberts

Bio:
Chris Roberts has spent most of his adult life working in San Francisco news media, which is to say he's still a teenager in Middle American years. He has covered marijuana, drug policy, and politics for SF Weekly since 2009.

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