William Correro column

Published 12:00 am Friday, November 7, 2008

TV games will increase, not decrease, despite gripes

To have a game total 90 points – a CBS game at that – and still get it done in three hours and twenty-two minutes from kickoff to double zeros on the board was just a real good thing.

I still say and have heard others say that the new 40-second play clock is cutting into the play count and it will be very interesting if there isn’t some sort of modification made to the play clock rules after this season.

I hear gripes all the time about how many commercial breaks the networks get and how it slows the game too much. We still have some officials who really don’t like TV’s influence on a game at all.

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I explained to a friend last week that it really doesn’t matter what anyone thinks about the number of commercials the networks have because it is the money that talks in everything. When you have CBS’s contribution to the SEC totaling over $85 million last year you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to understand how it all shakes out.

The game wouldn’t be as good as it is without the $126 million plus that the SEC received in TV revenues from all our network partners last year.

That is divided up among the 12 schools and that is one way they are able to have these indoor practice facilities and excellent sports medicine departments just to name a few. And all that takes major league bucks.

I know there have been some gripes about the games but it really seems like most have been directed at Instant Replay. My biggest contention though is the difference in coverage from a technical standpoint.

If the game is only Pay-per-View, there will typically be only five cameras – two play cameras up high on the press box side, one high end zone and a hand-held camera on each sideline. These aren’t usually in High Definition either.

Now move to CBS with three high play cameras, a high end zone camera, low end zone cameras beyond each end zone, one on each goal post, a hand-held on each side, the moving platform camera that is 10 to 12 feet high and then plane/helicopter/ blimp camera. And all in HD too.

The quality and the larger number of view angles to look at makes it much easier in a network game. And to me, it just isn’t fair to the game on Pay-per-View.

The NFL has the money and luxury of having all their games broadcast so the coverage for replay is much better across the board. With the new 15-year deals the SEC has with both CBS and ESPN starting in the 2009 season, there will be very few games that aren’t a national broadcast and that should help.

As we get into the last month of the regular season there will be some huge games every week. Teams digging to qualify for a bowl or increase their chances for a shot at the national title really bring on some huge intensity.

The Georgia and Florida game is a good example and we’ll get into how it was down in Jacksonville next time.