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Tuesday, October 19, 2021

going longer
It should come as absolutely no surprise to anyone that National Football League coaches are routinely pressured to burn timeouts late in games, just so more TV commercials can be squeezed in:

“At the two-minute warning in every game in the fourth quarter, there are conversations that go by. There’s conversations that take place at the two-minute warning before the first half. But there’s conversations that take place, and it’s the official’s responsibility to give the head coach a status of commercials and TV timeouts,” [Tennessee Titan head coach Jeff] Fisher said. “Yesterday, I was told that they were two short. And they looked at me and smiled, and I said, ‘Sorry, I can’t help you.’ [Referee] Mike Carey came across and said, ‘Here’s the deal. We’re two short.’ And I said, ‘Mike, I can’t help you. I’m trying to get a first down and I’m gonna kneel on it.’”

It’s clearly obtrusive, and it makes for an unsettling in-game situation:

Perhaps the most disconcerting thing about this story — the part that made it so hard to believe at first — is the idea of a television network, and the need for ad revenue, deciding the pace of a game (no matter how awful it may be). That Carey would break away from his responsibility as a supposedly objective arbiter of the on-field action to try and wrangle timeouts from coaches in the name of commercial breaks — well, this is where we truly have gone down the rabbit hole. And judging from Fisher’s comments, this happens all the time.

It’s always pointed out how well-suited football, particularly NFL football, is to television. Clearly-delineated windows of action provide an ideal vehicle for injecting commercial breaks. So it’s disheartening to think that, even with this perfect set-up, the league and its partners (in this case, ESPN) feel the need to tamper with gameplay integrity to jam in even more advertising.

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 10/19/2010 11:21pm
Category: Advert./Mktg., Football, TV
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