Note to CBS

This is no bulletin, but your Sunday afternoon sports strategy is killing your prime time line-up.

Look, I know you make tons of bucks off of sports, and there’s nothing like the excitement of the end of a tight contest. Hell, I’m one of the biggest sports fans out there. But you’ve simply got to do something about late starts that guarantee pushing your Sunday night prime programming later into the evening. You can argue that NFL games run long, that golf play-offs are unpredictable, and that overtime basketball games can’t be avoided, but I’m talking about consistently scheduling events that guarantee the programming delay.

Yesterday’s NCAA tournament game between Kentucky and Michigan State started at 5:05 eastern time. Did anybody really believe it would be all tucked to bed by 7 o’clock? How about NFL games that begin at 4:30pm?

Moreover, look what you’re doing to the TiVo generation? Case in point: I don’t watch 60 Minutes, but I like Cold Case. However, when a sporting event runs over, as they typically do, you interfere with the rest of my Sunday evening schedule. Of course, if had one of those fancy sets, I might be able to watch two programs at once, but that’s not the point. If I grant you access to my living room in today’s rapidly-changing media world, you’d damned well better realize that I’m in charge here, not your programmer or your sacred schedule. You can argue that I could TiVo the other shows, but that’s presumption gone to seed.

And broadcasters wonder why we’re headed for an on-demand world…

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