Monday, October 27, 2008

Saturday Night

Lots of stuff today about no one being awake to watch the end of Game Three on Saturday night. I'll be honest with you and tell you that I didn't watch the end either. But it's not because it was so late. It was because I was disgusted after watching Ohio State blow a winnable game against Penn State. Sure, I was flipping back and forth between the two after the ballgame got going, but when Terrell Pryor tried to be a hero and fumbled the ball away when all he needed to do was dive for a first down, my evening was officially ruined. Anyway:

I called a major league executive to ask if he’d watched the ninth inning of Game 3 Saturday night, which might’ve been the turning-point moment in this Fall Classic.
"Did I watch?" the senior official said, repeating the question in disbelief. "Are you kidding me?" His answer needed no explanation, not when the final out was recorded at 1:47 a.m. Most of the East Coast long since had gone to bed, unaware that the Phillies had beaten the Rays in a game started by Jamie Moyer – an upset that likely has doomed the Rays’ October fantasy.
Look, I don't feel good about abandoning baseball Saturday night, but if I were a paid employee of Major League Baseball, one of its affiliates, or a media outlet covering it, you can bet your bippy that I would have had the coffee boiling.

Wouldn't you?


Richie said...

One reason to love living on the West Coast.

Crowhop said...

Why do weekend games have to abide by the "primetime" slotting in the first place? I can understand the weekday games, but is there that big a difference between 5 PM and 7 PM on a Saturday night as far as ratings go? Obviously, this game had an external factor that would have pushed it back either way, but that is one question that has always puzzled me and this is the only place I have thought to ask it.

Craig Calcaterra said...

Crow -- I think it's still about the west coast. Even on Saturdays -- maybe especially on Saturdays -- people are out and about, carting kids around, shopping, and everything else until around dinner time. You start a game at 7pm on the East Coast, and a lot of people still aren't home yet in California.

I think what drives this is that the commericals are probably price-weighted by hour of telecast, thereby providing an incentive to maximize the first hour or so of the broadcast.

matt said...

I guess when you don't have a horse in the race 1:47 is pretty late. The first pitch of each game should be scheduled for no later than 8:00 (and perhaps a couple minutes earlier if you want to axe the National Anthem--or at least certain singers of it).

I understand the reasons for Saturday nights low ratings, but in general I think the constant news stories about low ratings are becoming self-fulfilling prophecies and letting potential viewers know that this World Series isn't worth watching.

I'm watching, and I'm enjoying the hell out of. If others don't care that's their loss; it's no skin off my back. I've got tickets to tonight's game, and no offense to any future wives or children, but if the Phils win tonight, today WILL be the best day of my life.

Or maybe tomorrow if it finishes after midnight thanks to Fox's 8:30 start time.

Daniel said...

I know I didn't get to bed until like 11:30 pm!!! As much as I think East Coast teams/players get more national exposure and attention, there are some very nice perks to living in California.

Craig Calcaterra said...

Daniel -- I can't tell you how many nights this summer I was up late watching gamecasts and reading box scores while I was putting together the ATH recaps, wishing like hell I was doing it from the Pacific Time Zone instead of the Eastern.

Notice: the five minutes after I manange to land a real job writing about baseball, I will be putting Chez Shyster up for sale and moving to Eurkeka, or Coos Bay, or Bellingham or something, simply so I can go to bed at a decent hour.

Grant said...

I'll be quite honest when I say that I missed the end of the game for an entirely different reason - I was out drinking, and the bars I was patronizing that fine evening were entirely too hipster to be doing something as gauche as showing sports.

tHeMARksMiTh said...

I stayed up and watched it as my dog yelped when I jumped up in the excitement of the last moments. I don't know why I was excited. I don't like the Phillies. I don't even like the Rays all that much. Why did I stay up that late? I need to re-prioritize. Should I watch tonight's game or will it matter? Will it matter that I watch? If the ratings get low enough, can I bring it up at least a tenth by watching?