Too much of a good thing can kill you.
An extreme statement, but with the hysteria surrounding the decline in NFL TV ratings through seven weeks in the season, very appropriate.
Included in the lists of reasons for the ratings drop are the words “over saturation.” While this has nothing to do with Polyunsaturated fats, it does apply to the fat content of the NFL schedule, which has become far from lean and mean.
The bloated sked, which begins with meaningless preseason shlock, is fat with regular season games on Sunday, Sunday night, Monday night, Thursday. Many of the matchups, arranged by the NFL Schedule Gnomes, have been putrid.
So, too much of a bad thing can kill you too.
Still, the NFL’s saturation problem is more insidious than a glut of crap games. With the help of a football crazed media, the NFL has successfully become a part of the 12-month news cycle. And not just a bits and pieces part, a major part. In some respects, random circumstances, like NFL players getting busted in the off season, have played a role in this elongated exposure.
No matter the reasons, the NFL has taken center stage during baseball season. Or it can swallow the NBA with one big story. Does anyone not believe the NFL season really begins the first day of the Draft?
“The great thing about sports is that once the season is done, you recharge your batteries and wait for it to come back,” said Chris Olivio, a lifelong NFL fan from Cherry Hill, N.J. “But the NFL and the media have made an effort to talk about it from January to December, covering ridiculous things like OTA’s and the Combine. The NFL is just too much in my face these days.”
While this micro-coverage appeals to the hardcore, it is clearly turning off other fans, like Olivio, who believe the glut of information in the off season, and games during the season, make NFL football seem like less of an event, giving them less reason to watch. These are exactly the kind of fans who drive the ratings. Unlike the hardcore, the NFL should not take them for granted.
Part of the 24/7, 365 day glut includes NFL related shows airing year round on ESPN and, of course, the NFL Network along with football offerings carried on regional sports networks.
Once the season begins, the volume of NFL-related programming increases during the week, especially Sunday morning, with 16 hours of pregame programming on five different networks beginning at 7 a.m. Then’s there’s NBC’s Sunday night pregame show and the various Sunday night wrap-up shows.
This all-encompassing, year round NFL coverage, and all this other shoulder program, is part of the saturation problem but it’s not going away. Too many entities, whether it be the NFL, its network partners, or the the various media outlets who lost their sense of proportion long ago, are getting fat off it.
How much “weight” can the NFL take before the product explodes and disintegrates?
BEAT GOES ON
Why are Nets fans not picketing Comcast’s corporate headquarters?
Are you laughing yet?
In case anyone forgot, the Yankees Entertainment & Sports Network is the cable TV home of the Nets. And last Nov. 18, Comcast booted YES off its New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania systems serving a total of 900,000 subscribers.
The dispute is over money (there’s a shocker) with Comcast suits saying Fox-owned YES’ carriage fee request is too high. It is obvious the new Nets season has not created any leverage for YES to get a deal done.
So look for this dispute to extend to spring training and beyond.
LISTEN TO ROSEY
It’s no secret ESPN-98.7 is a Knicks pom-pom factory disguised as an all-sports radio station.
Once you get past that fact, the station is worth listening too if only to absorb the genius of 98.7’s marquee attraction Peter Rosenberg.
That said, there other 98.7 Gasbags who think, when it comes top the Knicks, they are preaching to morons. Like Bill Daughtry. Tuesday, he actually said the Knicks “started to get good” when Phil Jackson took over as team prez.
Entering this season, the Knicks were 49-115 under the Jackson presidency. If this is Daughtry’s idea of starting “to get good” who wants to be around when the Knicks go off the rails under Jackson’s watch?
How will Daughtry spin that kind of miserable failure?
LOUD AND CLEAR
With Chris Carlin splitting SNY’s Loud Mouth scene, heading for the afternoon-drive gig at Philly’s WIP-FM (radio moles say he’s expected to start Nov.7), the vultures are circling what will soon be an empty chair.
They will be flying around, looking to land next to Jon Hein, the last Loud Mouth standing. If history serves as precedent, SNY brass will take its time before naming the next permanent Loud Mouth.
That was the process when Hein, after eight months of assorted suspects doing LM shows, replaced Adam Schein last March.
So, expect to see plenty of “guest” Loud Mouths after Carlin departs. The list will likely include some familiar names, like WFAN’s Mark Malusis, WOR’s Sal Licata, ESPN play-by-play voice Eamon McAnaney, SiriusXM’s Evan Cohen, CBS Sports Radio’s Brandon Tierney as well as other recognizable Gasbags.
On the occasion of their last Thursday Night Football telecast of the season, that memorable Jaguars-Titans tilt, NFLN’s Rich Eisen congratulated what seemed like every member of the CBS Sports department for working their portion of the “TNF” sked.
Eisen did forget to mention the security dude who checks your ID at Black Rock.
Anyway, for CBS, this wasn’t likely so much a celebration. It was more like an escape from being held hostage by five weeks of lousy games brought to you by the National Football League.
CBS’ “TNF” viewership was down 16% from the network’s 8 game “TNF” sked last season. Next “TNF” victim, er, network is NBC.
Now out with a broken foot, Sixers rookie Ben Simmons, the NBA’s overall No. 1 pick, has some time on his hands.
So, he can watch Showtime’s documentary on him, “One and Done” that debuts Friday Nov. 4. This is much more than a basketball docu of the Aussie sensation, it’s a tale of money, business, and life of a kid being prematurely cranked through the star making machinery.
It is both powerful and poignant. Check it out.
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DUDE OF THE WEEK: ANDREA KREMER
Already well-known for her pieces on NFL personalities, Kremer gets the nod here for her HBO “Real Sports” expose on a twisted cat with questionable ethics — Yoga guru Bikram Choudhury. Kremer went to India to confront the man credited with launching a worldwide fitness craze, who has also been accused of sexual harassment and assault by at least 30 (six have filed lawsuits) women in his program. Choudhury huffed, puffed, and barked at Kremer who never lost her cool. Kremer and her crew have produced some fine work here that is well worth checking out.
DWEEB OF THE WEEK: ADNAN VIRK
For a poor choice of words. While commenting on coach Charlie Strong’s job status at Texas, after the Longhorns lost to Kansas State, 24-21, Virk, an ESPN mouth, said: “The noose is getting awfully tight around Charlie Strong’s neck.” Virk, who usually rocks steady, obviously was not thinking of the history of African Americans and lynching in this country. Recognizing his use of a bad analogy, he apologized and no doubt will be putting more thought into his words.
What Randy Moss said: “Roger Goodell is already in a hole, trapped himself, and needs to come out an own up to what’s going on.”
What Randy Moss meant to say: “I’m a new guy at ESPN and in my grace period. So they allow me to rip the commissioner.”
Source: NY Daily News Headlines Sports News