Thursday, February 08, 2007

CBS: Commercial Broadcasting System?

If you thought CBS telecasts of college football games dragged on and on in 2006, you are correct. The new set of clock rules designed to shorten games had a minimal impact on games telecast by the network.

The average game in 2005 lasted 3:21:17. The rule changes — commonly referred to on this site as 3-2-5-e — resulted in games that on average were 3:07:24, a difference of 13:53. But CBS telecasts lost only 6:18.

So if CBS lost only 6.18 from the average of 13:53, what happened to the rest of the 7:35? Our best guess is that commercialization took over, meaning that the clock rules designed to shorten games actually resulted in more commercials during CBS telecasts. Imagine that!

The 3-2-5-e rule will be under review this weekend when the Football Rules Committee gathers in Albuquerque. This latest data merely reinforces our argument that concern over length of games has to do more with increased commercial time than the game itself.

This study was organized by Marty of cfbstats.com. Together with Matt from College Sports Schedules and Gary from Steroid Nation, we have a look at the difference in length of telecasts by all of college football's broadcast partners from the 2005 and 2006 seasons.

Here is the breakdown in telecasts from the 2005 and 2006 seasons, with number of games, an average length of a telecast, the differential and the percentage of change:

Network.........2005..................2006
................G......Min/G........G......Min/G.......Chg........%Chg
CBS...........17.....3:29:21.......19.....3:23:03.....-06:18.....-3.01
ESPN+........56.....3:20:58.......57.....3:10:34.....-10:24.....-5.18
ABC...........80.....3:30:12.......62.....3:17:21.....-12:51.....-6.11

None.........197....3:11:13......219.....2:58:46.....-12.28.....-6.51
ESPN.........168....3:26:32......176.....3:12:57.....-13:35.....-6.58
TBS............11....3:28:38........11.....3:13:00.....-15.38.....-7.49

L-F/J-P.......25....3:20:29........27.....3:05:16.....-15:13.....-7.59
Com./CSTV..61....3:19:29........91......3:04:06.....-15:23....-7.72
Other.........54....3:19:55........66......3:04:19.....-15:35....-7.80

FOX...........41....3:27:29.......55.......3:10:55.....-16:35....-7.99
NBC............7.....3:40:08........7.......3:18:08.....-22:00....-9.99
NFL............--........--............2.......3:31:00........--.........--

Network Family Breakdown Grid
ABC: ABC.
CBS: CBS.
Comcast/CSTV: CL, CN8, CSN Chicago, CSN West, CSS, CSTV, mtn., OLN/Versus.
ESPN: ESPN, ESPN Classic, ESPN2, ESPNU.
ESPN+: ESPN+, MAC.
FOX: FOX, FSN, FSN Arizona, FSN Bay Area, FSN Northwest, FSN Ohio, FSN Prime Ticket, FSN South.
Lincoln Financial Sports: LFS, Raycom/LFS.
NBC: NBC.
NFL: NFL.
TBS: TBS.
Other (local and PPV): Everything else.

4 comments:

Monty said...

Awesome! Not too surprising though...

Anonymous said...

Not sure how you came up with that statement. In games that were not broadcast, there was a 12 minute reduction, which means that most of the actual game play was reduced. In televised games, you'll still have commercials at SOME change of posessions, timeouts, TV timeouts, quarters. nothing in the rules said that these timeouts would be shorter.

Grafton said...

But there should be fewer timeouts. What the data suggests is that the timeouts were made longer and overcompensated for there being fewer of them.

Maybe those crafty SEC coaches just insist on using EVERY timeout...ladies

Anonymous said...

I guess SEC coaches don't use timeouts in Jefferson Pilot/Lincoln financial telecasts.