The NCAA shortened football games only to shove more ads into broadcasts

The NCAA shortened football games only to shove more ads into broadcasts

College football is changing at such a rapid pace that it’s hard to keep track of every alteration. One example is the new rule that keeps the clock rolling after a first down. In recent years, it went from a full stop after moving the chains to pausing until the ref spots the ball. Now it only stops during the final two minutes of each half, and one would surmise the rule would result in shorter games, right?

In theory, yes. In reality, the schedule makers and broadcast partners told us all we needed to know. The time slots are the same — noon EST, 3:30 pm, and then the prime time slate at various times between 7 and 8:30 pm. If the contests are shorter, shouldn’t that be reflected in the kick times?

I’ll just let UCLA coach Chip Kelly explain it for you.

Judging by the replies, it appears the fans agree with Kelly, as the goal was never to shorten the games, but rather to find more space for commercials. I guess when you pay billions of dollars for the live TV rights, you have to sell ads to justify the cost, and I sure hope there’s a narrative to these Dr. Pepper adverts, because they certainly have the airtime.

One user pointed out that Indiana had 10 offensive drives against Ohio State this year compared to 17 a season ago. I don’t know what prompted this war on time that’s consumed sports, but I blame cell phones for a collective loss of patience. Hurry up and get these games over with because there are zillions of hours of content available, and Apple and Amazon didn’t invest billions into streaming so it could go unwatched.

For the sake of objectivity, the clock never stops after a first down in the NFL, but that league’s TV timeouts — and regional programming — have been the bane of my Sunday viewing experience since I was old enough to grasp what the moving images on the screen were. If the NCAA wants to emulate the NFL, start by paying the players.

College football fans are allotted a dozen game days per year, maybe 13 if the good players decide not to skip the bowl game, and the goal can’t be to make the viewing process as tortuous as possible. Let’s pair Deion Sanders and Nick Saban with farm animals and then have them prattle on about insurance. It’s Week 1, and I’m already looking for a sharp fencepost with which I can gouge out my eyes during commercial breaks.

The NCAA everybody! Now take a bow so we can huck Strawberries and Cream Dr. Peppers at your cranium, because that toxic mix of artificial flavors and corn syrup is definitely not entering my system. 

Original source here

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About the Author

Anthony Barnett
Anthony is the author of the Science & Technology section of ANH.