Growing up a non-sports fan, I pretty much assumed that any show I liked that aired on Sunday at 7PM was going to die a horrible death. NFL Football’s nasty habit of constant run-overs would murder show after show due to unpredictable airing times. Steven Spielberg’s Earth 2 and X-File alums Morgan and Wong’s Space: Above and Beyond were technically on at the same time, fighting for the same audience, but could often be viewed back to back, depending on which network’s NFL broadcast ran over more. There is almost nothing that the football juggernaut couldn’t kill, but now it may be the salvation of long-suffering Time Warner Cable customers. The LA Times has this:
It’s not just baseball lovers. Fans in Texas have missed three preseason contests featuring the Dallas Cowboys. Coverage of the New York Jets has been grounded in New York, another major city served by Time Warner Cable.
Analysts watching the prolonged dispute say the upcoming football season is likely to provide the tipping point, with both television companies under increased pressure — from viewers, Congress and the Federal Communications Commission — to resolve their differences.
Since the FCC is waiting for a new chair, and Congress is on vacation, not a lot has gotten done. But as soon as the regular foosbal season hits, consumer anger will be fueled by the loss of their favorite games, and those fans will probably blame both sides, forcing a fast resolution. If that isn’t enough, then the retirees that make up the majority of NCIS‘s audience should be enough to force both sides to come to an agreement.
And no, those free rabbit ears probably aren’t going to help. NFL fans are probably the most likely to want to use the pause, fast-forward, and rewind functionality they’ve grown accustomed to with their cable boxes during live viewing — a sort of custom instant replay, if you will. Over-the-air may give you the prettiest TV signal, but it doesn’t give you DVR control capabilities.