Thursday, February 19, 2009

8 PM Trap Game?

Is it wrong to be worried a little about UW's road game against Indiana tonight? With Sparty on the horizon on Sunday, and the Badgers perhaps feeling a bit overconfident after four straight wins, and with Indiana's leading scorer, Juco transfer Devan Dumes, returning from a two game suspension, and this being the Badgers' first game against Tan Tommy Crean in his new digs, well, color me a bit nervous. Harumph.

In other news, I actually enjoyed this column from the State Journal's Tom Oates, lamenting how UW's basketball games seem to have been permanently moved to 8 pm. Indeed, this is lame. As Oates notes, 8 pm games inconvenience the fans, especially folks from smaller towns around Madison who have long drives home, and reduces revenue for the charities that run many of the concession stands in the Kohl Center. Plus, it incentivizes people to leave early and check their watches incessantly-- which leads to half-hearted, ineffectual fan support. Lame.

As a viewer at home, I'm not a fan of 8 pm starts mostly because I'm not a night owl. 8 pm games usually end around 10:15 or so, and I need a good half hour or so to wind down after watching a live UW basketball game, especially one against a decent conference opponent. This drives the wife nuts.

What I don't understand is why the Big Ten Network doesn't use its alternate channels to broadcast games at the same time. Sure, they don't want to dilute ratings. But they should be able to recoup money by telling larger advertisers who want to show ads across the region that their ad will now be broadcast during three games, not just one or two. And they could do fill in with local advertisers-- the kind of folks who used to pay for ads when games were just shown locally, but now don't want to pay the region-wide rates charged by the Big Ten Network. What's to stop this from happening? Not enough broadcasting teams? Please.

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