Friday, February 23, 2007

We're #1...

At sitting through endless commercials on CBS while waiting for SEC games to re-start. Fancy graph-looking things can be found here.

CBS had the fewest players per broadcast minute of any television by a fairly substantial margin. I've always liked CBS's presentations of games (or at least I did until December 2, 2006, but I'm now recalling from the vast recesses of my memory hurling various ill-tempered insults during my days going to Georgia games at the "a** hole in the red hat" who stands on the 30-yard line during TV timeouts and signals the refs when CBS's universe of advertisers are done hawking trucks and pimple creams. Interestingly, everybody's favorite broadcast entity - Lincoln Financial - came in second in terms of fewest plays per broadcast minute.

What's the cause of these stats? In the words of our friends in political science, intensity of preference. SEC fans love college football. (Naw!) We'd probably watch games if there were commercial breaks after every play. CBS and Lincoln Financial almost certainly know this and have recognized that they can compress an inordinate number of commercials into their telecasts without ill-effects in the ratings. In fact, I wouldn't be shocked if CBS sells to its advertisers the notion that it is selling an audience that will keep watching no matter how many commercials bombard it.

What's uncomfortable for me is that I like to mock NFL fans as mindless sheep for watching NFL games that are completely saturated with commercials, but when SEC fans apparently let themselves be subjected to the same mistreatment, I take it as evidence of our great fan intensity. "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines." This concludes the first time I've ever quoted Emerson in this space.

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