More signs of massive disinterest

While the TV ratings for the Sugar Bowl were down from the previous year, the number for the Fiesta and Orange Bowls rose.

Fox doesn’t sound too upset.

Ratings for Fox’s coverage of the Sugar Bowl, a Georgia blowout of Hawaii, dived 17 percent compared to last year’s game, which featured Notre Dame.

But the Oklahoma-West Virginia Fiesta Bowl was up 10 percent, and the Kansas-Virginia Tech Orange Bowl climbed 6 percent.

Last year’s BCS title game all but ended when Florida took a 34-14 lead into the half. But the game was still the second-most-watched sporting event of 2007, drawing 28.8 million viewers. About 19.6 million watched the NCAA basketball final on CBS.

Asked if Fox believes it’s getting its money’s worth for $80 million a year, Bell replied, “Without question.”

He added: “It’s our top priority to extend this relationship, whatever the format. Whether it’s a plus-one, an eight-team playoff or status quo, this is the business we want to be in.”

Maybe they just need to enlarge the Notre Dame exception for the BCS – let a bowl have the option to invite the Irish over any school that has a strength of schedule greater than 100. Obviously America would rather watch Charlie Weis get smoked than June Jones.

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2 Comments

Filed under BCS/Playoffs

2 responses to “More signs of massive disinterest

  1. LD

    You hint at it, but what the ratings tell us is that small programs don’t deliver good ratings.

    The Fiesta ratings went up this year because West Virginia is likely a bigger draw than Boise State.

    The Orange ratings went up this year because Virginia Tech is a much bigger draw than either team in last year’s Orange. Wake Forest is about the smallest 1-A school (and alumni base). Louisville was just a couple of years removed from Conference USA.

    When I see the ratings for the BCS this year, I think that the next step will be re-inserting a SOS portion of the BCS formula – one that punishes smaller conferences significantly and prevents (more subtly) non-BCS conferences from crashing the party.

  2. LD, I think you’re correct on all counts.

    I tried to address some of this more directly here.