[mythtv-users] CBS sucks!

Greg Woods greg at gregandeva.net
Mon Oct 31 16:23:02 UTC 2011

On Mon, 2011-10-31 at 07:43 -0400, Matt Mossholder wrote:

>  However, with four "major" networks, and only 2-3 really popular
> sports, you would think we would be seeing one of the major networks
> fold if they lost a sports contract for a couple of years running.

You are assuming it's one sport to one network. The way it works now,
all four major networks have a piece of the NFL pie (ABC/ESPN has Monday
Night Football, NBC has the Sunday night game, and Fox and CBS have the
Sunday afternoon games. Then there is also college football which all
four networks also have a piece of.

> The networks had many concessions from the league with regards to when
> play would stop/start, etc.

Sure, in that the stoppages in play last a little longer than they would
have to, to give the networks time to air commercials.

>  You would think that they could just as easily influence the league
> to have games take up a fixed amount of time (to within a half hour,
> lets say), with the possible exception of during the playoffs and the
> Superbowl/World Series/etc.

That is a LOT more complicated than you seem to think. It would require
some fundamental rules changes, and that gets into the league/ownership
group, the player's union, the networks, and all of that. They already
have enough fun negotiating contracts without having to cancel games and
seasons as it is. It is also hard to change the rules without also
changing the appeal of the game. It can be done; the NHL made a few
changes (re-implementing the "tag up" offsides rule, getting rid of the
two-line pass, making it a penalty to take too long to get ready for the
next face-off (although we hardly ever see that called), and most of
all, calling all the clutching and grabbing interference that was
slowing the game down and diminishing the impact and role of
highly-skilled players. But none of those rules changes really made much
difference in how long the games take, and the NHL just doesn't involve
nearly as much money as the NFL does. Clock management at the end of
games is one of the more exciting things that goes on, so doing
something like, say, not stopping the clock for incomplete passes and/or
players going out of bounds, which I have heard proposed, would just
change the game in very fundamental ways. It's just not that simple.

I've often wondered if they could at least cut off the end of really
one-sided games, but ever since the Heidi game, the NFL has always
insisted that it be in the TV contract that the network must show the
game until its conclusion.

Getting rid of instant replay is also not really an option. For one
thing, games running long has been a problem since long before instant
replay was instituted; that would make only a small difference anyway.
And instant replay was implemented because there was a great deal of
pressure for it. Officials are human, which means they make wrong calls
sometimes. When it happens on a really crucial play, a bad call can
decide the outcome of a game. And now that the play can be shown in high
definition from 15 different camera angles, everybody KNOWS when it was
a bad call. So they had to address this somehow, and make use of all
those camera angles for really important plays.

CBS is in a particularly bad position, because 60 minutes has been in
that time slot for decades, and TV viewers are nothing if not creatures
of habit, so it would be hard for them to move it and put a throwaway
rerun show in that time slot, which is probably the best thing that they
could reasonably do.


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