Sunday, February 5, 2012

Super Bowl: A programmer's nightmare

A passing thought early Sunday ...

While millions in this country and around the world settle down on an unofficial holiday and watch the Super Bowl, and NBC executives subsequently watch dollar bills flow into their rainy day fund, imagine being the other guy.

Granted, a lot of people won't watch the Giants-Patriots because football - Super Bowl or not - is not their thing, and that's fine.

Still, how would you like to be a programming executive that has to put something sports-related head-to-head against the Super Bowl? Seriously, a test pattern might have better luck.

It's kind of like putting a putt-putt course next to Augusta National.

With that in mind, I thought it would be funny to see what other networks are putting up against the Super Bowl, especially channels offering sports. First, here's what other broadcast networks are offering at 7 p.m. Sunday, with the Giants and Patriots well under way:

CBS: Undercover Boss
ABC: America's Funniest Home Videos
FOX: Bob's Burgers
The CW (almost forgot that was a network): 'Til Death

'Til Death, all right - of your advertising revenue.

And sports programming, you ask?

Fox Sports Ohio:
World Poker Tour
ESPN: World's Strongest Man (the Worldwide Leader knows better)
ESPN2: 2011 World Series of Poker (see above)
SportsTime Ohio: Indians Roundtable: The 1990s
Big Ten Network: College wrestling - Nebraska at Minnesota
Golf Channel: Tin Cup
ESPNU: SEC Storied: The Play That Changed College Football
ESPN Classic: Into The Cold: A Journey Of The Soul
Fox Soccer: English Premier League- Manchester United at Chelsea (if you're reading this, you know how much I love soccer. You really think I'll watch even that at 7 p.m. Sunday?)
NBA TV: Grizzlies at Celtics
NBC Sports Network: Cold War on Ice: Summit Series '72
Tennis Channel: Fed Cup - Belarus vs. United States

See what I mean?

Also on tap on basic cable according to the folks at Zap2It are Real Housewives of Atlanta, Sex and the City, Cupcake Wars, Nora Roberts' High Noon, Law and Order: SVU and Sleepless in Seattle.

There may be no turning back the Super Bowl as a ratings steamroller, and any programming executive worth their weight in Nielsens knows better than to try to stage a road block.

- Chris Lillstrung


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