With NFL and NBA owners locking out their players, fans are dreading the prospect of shortened seasons — or none at all. In businesses dependent on public support, the disagreements between owners and players minimizes the fan’s contributions — filling the seats and paying the bills.
Some angry fans vow they are “going to find something else to do on Sundays,” or boycott the league when it does return. But do people really want to abandon beloved Sunday traditions? Bitterness aside, fans know they’d rather be spending Sundays with their eyes glued to a TV.
The NCAA could intervene in its own way and provide the remedy to America’s pigskin blues. If schedules were modified, there would be more than enough games to make college football a weekend-long experience. Rivalry games or matchups with top-25 schools could be saved until Sundays.
It would only be a temporary solution, but a way to take advantage of the situation.
Schools from the Southeastern Conference play on CBS. ABC and ESPN air games from nearly every other conference and Lesser-known teams could take Saturday’s television slots, which would reserve a few primetime meetings for Sundays. Casual fans would be satisfied watching Big 12 or SEC teams slug it out if the option existed.
The NFL appears to be nearing a resolution, but the NBA losing an entire season is a legitimate threat. March Madness is always a monumental attraction, but the college game is not an appropriate replacement. College hoops cannot match the popularity of the NBA, but should receive an increase in followers.
The NBA plays 82 games in a regular season followed by at least two months of playoffs. Division 1 schools play approximately 30 regular-season games, a conference tournament and finish with a postseason tournament if eligible. The longer NBA season allows for more storylines, which means more fanfare. NCAA basketball is not void of drama, but the NBA’s star power causes the masses to flock to Toyota Center instead of Hofheinz Pavilion.
It’s difficult to follow a college team if it isn’t a powerhouse. In 2010, CBS and Turner Sports signed a contract to televise NCAA Tournament games on four different channels. During the regular season only schools from high-profile conferences are broadcast on the major networks.
However, it will be just as difficult to keep track of NBA players who opt to play in Europe during the lockout — Euroleague games won’t be accessible in America. But if the NBA can’t get over its collective greed, college basketball will certainly gain new followers.
Unlike football, basketball games don’t have designated days, they’re a daily occurrence. Given the quantity it would be unreasonable to televise big games once a week.
The novelty of a limited season is what keeps fans engaged for its entirety. The NCAA has already started to make college football a weeklong event, sometimes starting the week’s slate of games on Thursdays or as early as Tuesdays.
But adding Sunday as a game day is an unlikely move. It would cause too many logistical problems at this point. Schedules are already set in stone, and aren’t rearranged unless something unforeseen like inclement weather comes into factor.
Though it’s an idea worth considering, it won’t happen. The NFL But NFL Comissioner Roger Goodell won’t let the NCAA steal his audience.