Thursday, January 1, 2015

Throwback Thursday: Has New Year's lost its luster thanks to Pay TV having the Bowls?

Does it seem that New Year's Day is no longer the “major” television event it was years ago? The big college football games are no longer staples for local television affiliates, as pay-television has acquired the entire kit and kaboodle, and the major New Year's Day sporting event on network television is the NHL Winter Classic, which thanks to its NBC deal (a new ten-year deal starting today) while the college bowls have moved to pay-television means the only “New Year's Day” bowl left on network television is the AT&T Cotton Bowl [Now the Goodyear Cotton Bowl - Ed.], which is not even played at the said stadium, but in Arlington at Jerry Jones' billion-dollar edifice on a Friday night. CBS is left with just their regular daytime programming on New Year's (the game shows and dramas have original programming today).

With the bowls likely moving to pay-per-view in the future, it seems the lustre of the big games has been lost. We learned the first year of the pay-television revolution the ratings dropped considerably, and when the BCS Championship rematch draws less than the same two teams on broadcast network television in November, we've seen that pay television is worse. What we're seeing now is the same thing Britons will see when F1 moves to pay television this year with a price of over $500 for the season (for F1 races only; this subscription for F1 must be ordered to have F1) so the Beeb could save coverage of The Open Championship and Wimbledon – two events that in the US have moved to pay-television exclusively.

With no New Year's programming left on broadcast television, what does this say about the quality of television when raunchy programming is the “standard” of quality?

Originally published January 2, 2012

1 comment:

  1. It wasn't noted from the original 2012 column:

    As part of the new postseason configuration, even the Goodyear Cotton Bowl moved to pay television. The only postseason game on network television was the Outback Bowl in Tampa. All New Year's Six games were on pay television. The only non-ESPN game left was the Sun Bowl last week. ESPN controls sponsorships. And I do stand by my line that we'll eventually see Pay Per View for the title game.

    A thrilling finish in Tampa, and Blackhawks and Capitals at James Brown's Place (he is a co-owner of the Washington Nationals, and even Nationals Park) were the only thing on network television, it shows how network television is now treated as a weak sister.

    Starting in 2015, tennis will face the wrath of pay; only Les Internationaux (Roland Garros) is on network television for the finals.

    And you wonder how HBO's clout continues; HBO sued the FCC after the authorities imposed anti-siphoning regulations similar to the UK and Australia. The anti-siphoning was ruled unconstitutional. Al Michaels notes in his book more money but fewer viewers with this push to pay television.


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