|KEVIN GARNETT Scoring ratings points|
Boston fans are understandably excited about Kevin Garnett coming to the Celtics.
But so are the folks at FSN New England, which carries the Celtics' games.
Dave Woodman, general manager of FSN, didn't mean to be effusive when the Celtics introduced the team's newest player, but he just couldn't help it and found himself shaking hands with and thanking the team's mascot for the acquisition.
"But, more importantly, I thanked [general manager] Danny Ainge and [managing partner] Wyc Grousbeck, because they're the key guys who made this happen," said Woodman.
"It's a good time to be a Celtics fan, over at the team and here," he added from the network's offices. "It's been exciting since the story broke. The press conference didn't start till 6:30, but we were on the air at 6 to cover the entire deal live.
The cable company assumed ownership of FSN July 1.
Woodman said the plan is to launch a lot of new sports coverage, and "of course, the Celtics are going to be a big part of that . . . we'll cover the Celtics on the court and behind the scenes in a much more in-depth way than we have before. I just don't have specifics yet, because it's so new."
Woodman expects the trade will translate into increased ratings. That has to be of concern to the folks at NESN, which broadcasts the Bruins, who have gained a new coach and goalie, neither of whom has the marquee appeal of Garnett.
"This is certainly a big boost to the franchise," said Woodman. "We've been the Celtics' television home for 26 years, so we've been at ground zero, the center of the universe for Celtics fans, for all that time, some years up, some years not so up, so now it's just taken on a whole different level because of the excitement."
The trade will give the Celtics some national television exposure, too.
ESPN and TNT, which aired no Boston games last season, have changed their outlooks. ESPN is televising seven Celtics games (including Garnett's return to Minnesota Feb. 8), and TNT is airing three games. The Celtics are shut out on ABC again, however.
Susan Bickelhaupt can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.