That’s what they’ve got all those channels for.

Okay, I admit any story with the header “How ESPN plans to deal with college football games running longer” sounds potentially ominous, but the WWL’s approach turns out to be fairly benign.

For a game that started on a linear network running long with an outcome not in doubt, ESPN will often finish that game on WatchESPN/ESPN3 and a lesser linear network. That’s what happened with the Ole Miss-Alabama game. The Georgia-South Carolina game leading into that game was running long and the outcome was no longer in doubt. So ESPN placed the Georgia-South Carolina game on both ESPN3 and SEC Network Alternate, a non 24/7 sports channel that often handles overflow games. They also promoted the switch on social media and on a bug on the screen. While it’s not a perfect solution for fans—there is none given divided loyalties—it’s an attempt to serve fans.

So, they’re not stupid.  And I applaud this:

What about moving to a 12, 4 and 8 start time scenario in order to end the spillover? Not going to happen. Ben-Hanan said ESPN wants to put on as many games as possible so they won’t be doing windows with just three games a day. Studio programming is also not going to draw nearly as well as a game broadcast. “We will put on as many games until fans tell us they don’t like it and we have never seen fans say that,” he said.

If the price is hunting around for where the last five minutes of a thirty-point blowout are being shown, I can live with that, for sure.

Of course, let’s not make Mickey out to be a saint here.  Part of what’s pumping up the jam is “… the in-game commercial inventory that has inched up in newer rights deals to help justify the price.”  Yeah, I think we’ve noticed.


Filed under ESPN Is The Devil

13 responses to “That’s what they’ve got all those channels for.

  1. Timphd

    Too bad ESPN can’t help me program my DVR to automatically switch channels when they do, when I am not home to do it myself. It wasn’t critical for the SC game but might be for others.


  2. I tape all games I care about and watch them later fast forwarding though commercials. If the games run over and are blowouts I don’t care to watch the last few minutes anyway.


    • Brandon

      Problem with that is when they run over and aren’t blowouts. If you don’t record the next scheduled show… tough luck


      • PTC DAWG

        Always extend live recordings..


      • Mayor

        I watch on only about a half hour delayed basis and I do select the extended recording option. Skipping the commercials gets me closer to the live telecast while I’m watching. If the game is running over I hear about it on the recorded telecast while there is still time to react and, if necessary, go to the live feed on the other station if they switch. I might miss some part theoretically but up until now I haven’t had a problem.


  3. dudemankind

    Let’s just get it over with and print the Chevy logo, or Samsung, or Standard Chartered on the front of our jerseys so we can maybe skip some of the TV commercials and end the games in under 3.5 hours.


    • Russ

      I’m to that point as well. I’d prefer the soccer model with limited TV commercials, but pimp everything else out. We could go with Coca-Cola since their colors would still match ours.


  4. I’d be in favor of cutting the in-game breaks in return for going to the soccer-scoreline advertisements that often pop-up during soccer games. Let me know that the first 5 minutes of each quarter are sponsored by Hyundai or Ford with a banner ad at the top — and stop going to commercial on every change of possession, every stoppage for a replay, and every time a ref forgets to call holding.


  5. DawgPhan

    Also if you have an apple TV or something similar the Watch ESPN app is pretty convenient.

    I have really been enjoying the watch ESPN app at the house this season. Throw a game on the tablet, the computer, the tv, or my phone. Keep up on all the games.

    Last saturday night was nice because towards the end of the night there was about 5 games that were all pretty close, all staggered just right so that as one ended the next one was middle of the 4th or so.

    good stuff. I for one welcome our new digital overlords.


  6. Macallanlover

    Shorten the games by reducing number of commercials by charging more for each minute, or allow more time in between. What I hate is the overlay of games in the 7-9 PM slot, please untangle them. Having some more competition for the noon and mid-afternoon games is a better solution than piling the “everything else” SEC games on top of each other at night.

    Also, save the West Coast games for later night broadcasts. Let ABC televise a Clemson-ND game starting at 7PM EST, then have an AZ/Stanford at 10:30 EST, beats the hell out of the local news and is still only 7:30 on the West Coast. Why deprive themselves of an extra game when they have already given up their primetime slot for CFB by having the 8:00 PM start anyway?


  7. Uglydawg

    If they built in more time for games..they’d surely add more commercials..and the games would still run over.
    Remember when they used to actually show the halftime show? The marching bands and stuff? Hard to imagine now.