Both statements are true, though. 16M households in the US have TV’s, but no ability to access ESPN. Thus, those stalwarts that only have local affiliates through over-the-air stations couldn’t access the football game if they wanted to.
Problem is, and please forgive the political incorrectness, those 16M people? They don’t matter. Not really in the least. Because if you’re not going to spend money to get something other than a TV set then you’re not going to buy an iPhone or a ’11 Camry or a money market account from Fidelity.
And yes, electronics, automotive and financial are three of the biggest verticals in marketing.
So the spinsters that are calling it a boon for ESPN are probably more right. More people WITH the money watched the BCS Championship game than any other show that cable has ever produced. The total number may have been off, but the people that watched the game who actually buy the things shilled? They were probably up.
Meaning that the BCS isn’t feeling any pain this week. Meaning that we’re stuck with this shit system of crowning a ‘champion’ for more of the foreseeable future.
I love football. Unlike, say hockey, where I don’t really care to watch unless the Blues are playing. And I’ve mentioned on this before that I think that CFB could be bigger than the NFL with a playoff structure. Really, think about it. A tournament of schools with massive and loyal fanbases getting after it for the national championship? In 2010-11 we could have had a top 10 Alabama team on the road in Auburn… in a PLAYOFF? Or a TCU getting a home game against a red-hot Big 10 team? I mean these are the things that are ripe with hype-ability.
Sadly, we don’t get this opportunity every year. We get up to 5 weeks off between games and unsatisfying conclusions (could TCU really knock of Auburn?). But the problem is that because there are a ton of guys like me who hate the BCS, but will watch the Sugar Bowl or Fiesta Bowl because it’s January and really what the hell else is on a Tuesday night AND I have disposable income?
God bless Mark Cuban for trying to make something happen this year with the whole deal. (Conversely, why did Obama have to break his one campaign promise I cared about.) But the reality of the situation is that the BCS Championship game delivered to the marketers that pay the freight the stats that those guys wanted.
Meaning that any momentum to kill this unseemly beast called the BCS is tabled for another year.
The Auburn Tigers won on Monday night. But Oregon wasn’t the only loser.