Late last week, the OVC announced this year’s ESPN schedule, which will feature 7 regular season games, and the semi-finals and finals of the OVC Tournament. 3 of those games have yet to be determined, but 4 have.
The four announced televised games are:
- Austin Peay at Morehead State
- Murray State at Austin Peay
- Tennessee Tech at Murray State
- Tennessee Tech at Morehead State
I couldn’t blame you if you missed the news. Because unless you’re one of four teams, you might not have a game on ESPN. In fact, no matter how the “Wild Card” games are distributed, at least one team WON’T have a game on ESPN.
I do get it, that these are the 4 teams with the most “Buzz” in the OVC. And in theory, these teams will bring the highest ratings. But out of 4 games, you couldn’t pick more than 4 teams?
This is a rare occasion where I will mention that my fandom lies with one of those 4 teams, so I’m not upset about the lack of my team’s coverage. But when you only grant a conference 7 regular season games on the one channel of many with the smallest viewership (and one online only, I’ll get there in a moment) you can’t at least give somewhat of a showcase of the conference? It doesn’t give me much faith that you will branch out much either for the “Wild Card” games
And then there’s the conference tournament. Semi-final 1 is on ESPNU. Semi-final 2 is on…ESPN 3. That’s right. It’s online. And only online if you have the proper cable or internet provider that can access ESPN 3. Can’t wait to watch that game at the bar…oh wait a second…
The finals are on “ESPN or ESPN 2.” I wonder where it will end up…
I get that you’re a TV station, and I work at a TV station so I do know how important ratings are. But honestly, what’s the difference in ratings between one of the matchups you’ve chosen and a “lower tier” matchup? Does the difference even register? Is you ad money that much lower?
Am I being cynical? Yes. Am I ignoring that money always comes first in collegiate athletics. Very much so.
But am I wrong?