Last week OKTC told you that the reason LSU at Texas A&M was kicking off at 11 in the morning was to protect the Baylor-Texas rating on ABC.
The Baylor at Texas game on ABC — featuring multiple plugs for the Longhorn Network no less — kicked off at seven central time.
The LSU at Texas A&M game should have kicked off at six at night if ESPN was scheduling its primetime SEC game correctly.
Instead, ESPN protected the Texas television rating by avoiding putting A&M on at the same time.
The rationale was simple, if Texas and Texas A&M aired at the same time, one on ABC the other on ESPN, ratings would have been lower for the Texas game. Why? Because even Longhorn fans would rather watch A&M and LSU play.
So ESPN put Alabama at Tennessee in primetime instead, even though it was a vastly inferior game.
Now the numbers are in and, guess what, I was right, the nation preferred LSU-A&M.
More people watched Texas A&M and LSU play at eleven in the morning than watched Alabama and Tennessee play in primetime.
That’s despite ESPN’s attempts to promote the Bama Tennessee game all week.
According to the Houston Chronicle, here were the national numbers for the weekend: “Baylor-Texas or Florida State-Miami, ABC, 3.5; South Carolina-Florida, CBS, 3.3; LSU-Texas A&M, ESPN, 2.8; BYU-Notre Dame, NBC, 2.7; Alabama-Tennessee, ESPN, 2.6;”
There’s a 100% chance that if Baylor-Texas had aired at the same time as LSU-Texas A&M that CBS would have had the highest rated game of the weekend.
Instead, ESPN/ABC protected the Longhorn game by putting an infinitely superior A&M game on early in the morning. (Put it this way, how many are watching Baylor at Texas at 11 in the morning?)
As is, the city of Houston, as I predicted, preferred to watch the LSU-Texas A&M game over the Texas game, delivering a substantial ratings victory to A&M over the Longhorns even though one game was on primetime and the other was early in the morning.
“Saturday: LSU-Texas A&M, ESPN, 6.7; Baylor-Texas, Ch. 13, 5.6;”
If anyone has full numbers for the state of Texas, I’d love to see those too, but, in the meantime, despite ESPN being furious at me for writing that the Longhorn game on ABC was the reason that A&M kicked off at eleven in the morning, I was right.
Yep, the highest rated game all day on any ESPN network aired at eleven in the morning central.
Again, I don’t begrudge ESPN for making the decision to try to maximize ratings by screwing everyone at the LSU-A&M game, but don’t try and pretend it was really because you thought Alabama at Tennessee was the superior game.
And the nation agrees with me.
Even with a vastly inferior timeslot, LSU at A&M still won.
I’d love to know how often the highest rated game on ESPN’s family of networks airs at eleven in the morning on a Saturday.
In the event these ratings came as a total surprise, I’m happy to run OKTC and schedule all of ESPN’s SEC games for them.
I’m confident I can manage the job.
Having said all of this, at least ESPN/ABC’s pimping of the Longhorn game gave us Natalie Portman’s cleavage in primetime.
Of course, I have a feeling Portman’s bra provided better defense than either Texas or Baylor.