Editorial: Let the Games Begin - Broadcasting & Cable

Editorial: Let the Games Begin

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Chad Johnson, the player formerly known as Ochocinco (perhaps now, Ochosinko), had a really bad week. He was arrested. Then he was fired by the Miami Dolphins. Then he was fired by VH1. Then he was fired by his wife. We racked our brains, but we can’t remember anyone getting fired three times in one week since Billy Martin managed the Yankees under George Steinbrenner.

But even Chad’s firing made for great television, with it being captured by HBO cameras that just happened to be featuring the South Florida gridiron side in this year’s installment of Hard Knocks.

And that’s just the way it’s going for sports fans, who head from the Olympics (you miss team handball, don’t you?) right into the best time of the year for televised sports. From the baseball stretch drive (now featuring two extra playoff slots to battle for) to the start of football—both college and pro—it’s about that time when couches and waistlines across America get abused for months. You know…because we’re so healthy the rest of the year.

TV ratings for sports continue to amaze, being trumped only by the even more eye-catching rights fees that networks are coughing up to air the biggest properties. Oh, who are we kidding—even the smaller ones are getting silly money now, thanks to the TiVo-proof nature of sports and the multiple new allsports networks that have popped up already, with another one expected next year if and when Fuel rebrands as Fox Sports One.

Whether it’s thanks to social media or Tim Tebow going to the Jets, the amount of eyeballs on sports shows no sign of slowing down anytime soon. At this point, the only thing that could hurt a sport is the sport itself. We are looking squarely at you, National Hockey League. The NHL, which already struggles for mainstream attention, is apparently going to miss part of its season due to a work stoppage. If you really want to disappear with all the other sports options available, it’s your funeral. Just be back by the Winter Classic outdoor game on New Year’s Day; that’s the one everyone likes.

Summer will be coming to a close soon, and that’s too bad because it means many people in the TV business have to start trying a little harder at their jobs again. But we are sports fans around here, so football season kicking off is just about a fair trade-off in our book.

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