Boy, this news oughta strengthen Mike Slive’s hand in the TV contract negotiations tremendously.
CBS viewership for SEC regular-season football games declined 15 percent in 2012, averaging a 3.4 rating that was the lowest since 2008.
It’s the second straight year viewership has declined.
Jon Solomon seems to indicate there’s a matchup problem.
One reason why ratings are down: Blowouts. Dating back to the end of 2010, 17 of the past 30 SEC on CBS games have been decided by at least 21 points. During one stretch that extended into this season, 13 out of 18 games were convincing victories.
The SEC’s average margin of victory on CBS this season is 19.8 points. CBS had the first pick of SEC games except for two weeks when ESPN selected first as the result of a trade from 2011.
There was a significant divide among the quality of SEC teams this season. The top 6 SEC teams — Alabama, Georgia, Florida, LSU, South Carolina and Texas A&M — had a 30-0 record against the bottom eight teams.
The top six SEC teams accounted for 68 percent of the league’s regular-season appearances on CBS. Yet only 5 of CBS’ 14 SEC games paired two top-6 teams against each other. Those games were decided by an average of 11.6 points.
You know why there’s a matchup problem? Because the fourteen-team conference insists on sticking with an eight-game schedule. If there are an equal number of quality teams in each division, you can’t get enough attractive games put together when the cross-division schedule is so unbalanced.
Facts are stubborn things. It’s either that, or we fans should just suck it up and watch, if we know what’s good for us.