Following up on last week's rant about viewing parties and sports marketing, I have a question I want to ask of NBC Sports.
You, of course, have forgotten all about that rant, after having one too many Yuenglings at a family barbecue over the weekend, in a bid to make your Uncle George's re-enactment of his recent work-related shenanigans seem entertaining. The basic principle, though, was that NBC Sports should be shamed for banning viewing parties of Stanley Cup playoff games.
As a onetime player and longtime fan of hockey, I can tell you it's hard enough getting someone to pay attention to the sport for more than 15 minutes at a time, and when NBC's crack camera crew completely misses the game-winning goal in game 5 (Really! See below!), it gets a lot harder to do so:
Anyway. NBC Sports has said it wants to maximize eyeballs for advertisers, so it blocked the viewing parties; the one event I went to earlier this playoff featured around 2,000 people and offered a financially troubled team the chance to do some well-received marketing. When you think about it, though, that makes about as much sense as installing a screen door in a spaceship, for three reasons:
– You've still got the captive audience to show those commercials to.
– It's the same ads all the time anyway! I've seen the ad where the dog fetches Bud Lite at least 700 times; that doesn't change the fact that Bud Lite tastes like the dog drooled into the bottle.
– The games are readily available in almost any sports bar you go to.
It's that last point that really gets me. I heard from two people after the wild game 6 win who both watched from a bar. Both places were busy, and the TVs were all tuned to the game. (For more on this, have a look at today's NJBIZ Daily; Katie Eder reports Uber Burger, in the arena's footprint, was holding viewing parties for the Devils' away games.) That undoubtedly messed with the metrics, so my question is: When is NBC going to pull the plug on restaurants and sports bars? Only seems fair, since they can't accurately capture their viewership with a game being readily broadcast in a public setting like that. And once they've done that, how about addressing people who have house parties for game nights, or even families who watch together? Shouldn't they each have to watch on individual TVs?
I'm sure NBC will get right on this. Once they figure out how to use those cameras properly.
I'm even more irreverent on Twitter @joe_arney.