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Question about TV scheduling

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by Smallpotatoes, Mar 28, 2009.

  1. Smallpotatoes

    Smallpotatoes Well-Known Member

    This may sound a little dumb, but I've been wondering about this.
    With today's NCAA regional finals, the game in Phoenix is being played before the game in Boston.
    In the NFL conference finals, the game in Phoenix was played before the game in Pittsburgh.
    It seems a little counterintuitive to me to play the game out west before the game in the Eastern time zone. Wouldn't it make more sense to have the game on the East Coast played first?
    Is it just a coincidence that the games are scheduled that way or is there a good reason why the TV networks and the NFL/NCAA do this?
     
  2. Batman

    Batman Well-Known Member

    For the NFL, the networks alternate the time slots each year. Next year, the AFC game will be the early one even if it's in, say, San Diego. They started it around 3 p.m. EST this year, which is 1 p.m. in Phoenix, so that wasn't too bad. Same with the basketball games today.
    With more of an emphasis on games in primetime, it's not as big a deal any more. I remember one year in the late 80s (1989, I believe), when the Broncos and 49ers hosted the conference championships. The game in Denver started at 11 a.m. local time.
     
  3. D-Backs Hack

    D-Backs Hack Guest

    I also remember that in 1994, the NFL decided that if the 49ers and Chargers hosted conference championships, one of them (surely the Niners-Cowboys NFC clash) would have been moved to prime time. But top-seeded Pittsburgh hosted the AFC game, allowing for 12:30 and 4 p.m. Eastern kicks as planned.

    As you said, now with both games later, it's no longer an issue.

    EDIT: The Denver thing reminds me of 1977, when the Broncos and Cowboys hosted title games. Despite being the westernmost site, Denver still had the first game, meaning another very early kick. I always wondered why the NFL did it that way.
     
  4. DanOregon

    DanOregon Well-Known Member

    TV Market size also plays a factor, Philadelphia is the biggest market on tap today.
     
  5. Batman

    Batman Well-Known Member

    Villanova-Pittsburgh was also a more attractive matchup on paper (and on the court, as it turned out) than UConn-Missouri. You want the better game in primetime if you can swing it.
     
  6. Mark2010

    Mark2010 Active Member

    Yeah, but aren't those games times set weeks or months in advance, long before they know what teams will be playing?

    I would think, for the sake of the people at the stadium (fans, security, officials, concession workers, etc.) they would have to be set in advance.
     
  7. Shoeless Joe

    Shoeless Joe Active Member

    I thought the same thing when I first saw the schedule and even noted the NFL championship games at the time. I figure today is no real big deal because it's Sunday afternoon, but there is never a good reason for TV forcing regular season mid week NCAA games at 9 p.m. EST. (UNC-Duke, Tennessee-Kentucky for example). It's total crap and flat out screws the newspapers in terms of deadline.
     
  8. Mark2010

    Mark2010 Active Member

    As for the NFL, all common sense has been thrown out the window when it comes to scheduling now. December night games in Chicago, Green Bay and New England?

    As said earlier, they rotate all the playoff games now, which forced them to go to the 3 p.m./6:30 p.m. ET starts, to avoid the possibility of having to start a west coast game at 10 a.m. Now, the worst that can happen is a noon west coast start.

    Prior to 2002, there was some common sense involved, where the eastern team played first. If both sites were in the east, the cold-weather site would go early, the logic being an outdoor game at 6 or 7 p.m. ET in Miami or Tampa was more bearable than one in Green Bay. Thus the AFC title game was the early game for 6 or 7 straight years in the 1990s because the NFC game seemed to always land in either San Francisco or Dallas.

    The Giants-Packers NFC title game in 2008 in Green Bay on an absolutely frigid night was a travesty. Should have been held over and played the next afternoon (which was MLK Day).
     
  9. Mark2010

    Mark2010 Active Member

    Hell, happens on the west coast, too, with 9 p.m. PT games on a semi-regular basis. One school in the central time zone even once played an 11 p.m. CT start.

    More of these ADs need to start thinking more about the students, coaches and fans and tell ESPN where to stick it when it comes to messing with the schedule. Wanna show the game at some absurd hour? Fine, roll the tape machines, buddy.
     
  10. MileHigh

    MileHigh Moderator Staff Member

    In the NCAA tournament, the West Regional for numerous years has been Thursday-Saturday.

    It's because CBS does start times on Saturday later, at 4:40 and 7 EDT. It can then pick and choose which game to start later on Saturday and be fine with start times in the West. On Sundays, CBS wants to be done by 7 EDT so it can start 60 Minutes (which hasn't started at 7 before a sports event on CBS in 25 years). If CBS had a West game in the Sunday slot, it would have to go in the late slot to avoid an 11 a.m. Pacific time start. So, if you go back and look over the years, the West has a Saturday finish, with the flexibility that it goes into either the first or second slot.

    As for the NFL, as stated above, it's now in a rotation because the late game now goes in prime time (actually starts the same time, or close, as the Super Bowl, about 6:30 EST).

    Next year, the AFC will go early, even if it's a noon start in San Diego and a 6:30 start in the Meadowlands. Just like this year, with the early game in Arizona at 1 p.m. local time indoor and the late game in Pittsburgh at 6:30 p.m. local time outdoors.

    And it was January 1989 the Broncos had an 11:30 a.m. MST start when they beat the Browns (sun rises in the East; hi, IJAG) and the Rams and 49ers played in the NFC title game (the faux Everett sack) at 2 p.m. PST start. It was an hour later than normal, back in the day.
     
  11. mustangj17

    mustangj17 Active Member

    I'm surprised MSU has the 6:07 game on Saturday and not the 8:47 game. You would think State in Detroit would be a major story line and get pushed to be the late game.
     
  12. imjustagirl

    imjustagirl Active Member

    You are SOOOO lucky that I still feel like it's too soon to be mean to you. But I'm banking the retort, trust that. :D
     
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