Way back on April 2nd, Mike Francesa launched into a viral rant. That’s nothing new, of course, but his explicit targets weren’t people in the sports world. Rather, he aimed his vitriol at people online posting audio and video from his programs, going full Major League Baseball with a written consent disclaimer.
You can watch that clip here, ironically:
Mike Francesa announces that he will no longer allow Funhouse to post clips from his fabulous 90-minute daily show going forward.
Alternate title: Mike Francesa announces that exactly ZERO people will hear anything he has to say going forward. pic.twitter.com/GJKKjYEx7U
— Funhouse (@BackAftaThis) April 3, 2020
As we wrote at the time, that’s a very, very weird stance for a media personality (who would stand to benefit from greater reach through any possible channels) to take:
Here’s the thing: all this is doing is making Francesa less relevant. The team at Entercom is doing a piss poor job at “marketing” Francesa (unlike what we see in most situations at ESPN and Fox, where if something said one of their shows has the potential to go viral, it’s usually on social media pretty quickly), and without someone like Funhouse calling his segments (both good and bad) to the attention of a national audience, he’s going to only fall even further out of the public consciousness (unless Entercom steps their game up).
At the time, Funhouse (@BackAftaThis) tweeted this, now-deleted:
If this is what he wants… done! Again, it’s not like he’s still with Dog or even solo for 5+ hours. He hosts a no-energy, 90-minute show. Half of that is typically an interview that’s too painful to even listen to. I’ll live. Plenty of other stuff to post. Best of luck to Mike.
Now, 21 days later, Francesa has apparently realized the error of his ways:
Starting immediately Entercom and https://t.co/Y7l2ak8Q3z have lifted the restrictions on my audio and video.
— Mike Francesa (@MikeFrancesa) April 23, 2020
It turns out that you don’t just magically gain the ability to generate content views others were getting, nor does that translate to any kind of financial gain. Funhouse responded quite appropriately:
— Funhouse (@BackAftaThis) April 23, 2020
And, asked whether this would mean a return to form, stuck to the initial stance:
— Neil Best (@sportswatch) April 23, 2020
And with that, Francesa and Entercom may have just nuked a source of free advertising and exposure. It only took them three weeks to realize it, at least, but that’s three weeks longer than the rest of us needed to realize it was a bad idea, so it’s hard to give them much credit.