Does Snow Really Provide Better Ratings?

Friday, January 18, 2008


This was news to me but it's pretty darn cool. Apparently snow can boost your ratings by 20%, which is why the Giants-Packers game will be the late game instead of the early one.

Last Saturday, when he saw snow falling in Green Bay before Seahawks-Packers, Fox Sports prez Ed Goren had one question for Roger Goodell. "Can we get the special effects to continue during the game?" Goren asked the commissioner.

Goren believes snow has a "positive" effect on the ratings. "I've always gone into these things rooting for snow," he said without a trace of compunction.

What's good for a television network is not always in the best interests of a sport. What's good for TV ratings can also severely compromise the quality of play. Only the NFL, in concert with its TV partners, can turn a crucial championship game into an ice sculpture. This shows exactly where the NFL's priority is. And it's certainly not on the on-field product. Moving both championship games - especially Giants-Packers - into later Sunday time slots is all about maximizing the universe of eyeballs at the NFL's disposal.
Well how about that. You learn something new everyday right? I would think that bad weather games would make people tune out, but then again the best MNF Football game of the year was the 3-0 Steelers-Dolphins slop fest. I'd root for snow, but I'm going to feel bad for those Packers fans if they are stuck out in those conditions.

Cold truth is NFL loves ratings, not ideal playing conditions (NY Daily News)

Here are the rating trends over the past nine years to take into consideration (Via SBD).....

NFC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME RATINGS TREND ON FOX

'07- 25.1/45, 43,247,000, Saints-Bears
'06- 20.8/31, 35,233,000, Panthers-Seahawks
'05- 25.8/46, 42,937,000, Falcons-Eagles
'04- 23.2/35, 40,444,000, Panthers-Eagles
'03- 23.8/45, 38,741,000, Buccaneers-Eagles
'02- 22.7/40, 37,429,000, Eagles-Rams
'01- 20.6/44, 30,513,000, Vikings-Giants
'00- 26.9/47, 42,635,250, Buccaneers-Rams
'99- 25.7/54, 38,220,000, Falcons-Vikings

AFC CHAMPIONSHIP RATINGS TREND ON CBS

'07- 26.4/39, 46,695,000, Patriots-Colts
'06- 23.6/44, 39,001,000, Steelers-Broncos
'05- 25.8/38, 44,334,000, Patriots-Steelers
'04- 24.7/46, 40,115,000, Colts-Patriots
'03- 24.6/38, 41,456,000, Titans-Raiders
'02- 21.2/46, 33,313,000, Patriots-Steelers
'01- 22.6/42, 35,140,000, Ravens-Raiders
'00- 23.2/48. 35,973,120, Titans-Jaguars
'99- 26.6/48, 42,000,000, Jets-Broncos

Posted by Awful Announcing- at 4:01 PM

5 Comments:

AA- The Championship games are flipped every year so it wouldn't matter if the Cowboys won. The game would still be in the late window. Just like if it was Indy-NE that game would still have been on early.

rs27 said...
Jan 18, 2008, 4:19:00 PM  

Exactly right, rs27.
Each network gets a prime-time game in the playoffs.
This year:
NBC: Wild card Saturday
CBS: Divisional weekend Saturday
Fox: Championship game

Next year, Fox will have the Saturday night prime-time spot and CBS will have the late championship game. (It was reversed last year.)

The championship games used to start at the usual 1 p.m. EST and 4:30 p.m. EST. Heck, I remember going further back that conference title games would start at 12:30 p.m. EST and 4 p.m. EST.

But starting in the 2003 season, the league, in a way to boost ratings even more, moved a conference title game into prime time. The late game starts at 6:30 p.m. EST (or so), which is about the same time the Super Bowl starts. And with 3 1/2 hours between start times, that puts the early game at 3 p.m. EST.

Which works out because in the collective bargaining agreement, games cannot start before noon local time. So the league would have been in the clear had the AFC game been in San Diego this weekend.

And the league does that in an attempt to have the late game (and Super Bowl) end about 10 p.m. EST, the thinking being that it's a school/work night and it wants fans/kids to watch all the way to the end. Unlike the NBA Finals and World Series, which routinely have games end well after midnight on the East Coast on school/work nights.

MileHigh said...
Jan 18, 2008, 4:32:00 PM  

I dont beleive its a "new" trend of having the championship games at 3pm and 6pm. I believe its been that way for quite some time now.

Anonymous said...
Jan 19, 2008, 11:55:00 AM  

As for ideal playing conditions, the Chargers had three players hurt in a dome last week. Rivers was a noncontact injury, and I saw a report today that his cleat got caught in the turf.

Whats the point of having a game in Green Bay in January if there's no snow?

jgreul said...
Jan 19, 2008, 12:10:00 PM  

I wouldn't call that 3-0 slopfest the best Monday night game of the year. It was riveting just for the potential of a 0-0 tie or being Miami's first win, but it was riveting in the sense of a train wreck - so ugly you can't help but watch. Best MNF game of the year has to go to the Denver-Green Bay overtime contest (where Favre went deep on the first play for the win).

SpartanDan said...
Jan 19, 2008, 12:58:00 PM  

Post a Comment