Why Can’t Networks Schedule Sports Properly?

Yesterday the NCAA tournament was on CBS during the day and was moving to TBS, TNT, and Tru TV for the evening night games. CBS had its regular Sunday night programming scheduled to start on time after the games.

The problem? The last CBS game was scheduled to start at 5:20 pm and 60 Minutes was scheduled to start at 7. Even if the game was one of the faster games of the tournament, there was no way 60 Minutes would start on time. They purposely created a schedule that would not work. They purposely created a schedule that would mean anyone trying to record a later CBS show would either have to pay close attention to when the game ended or miss the end of the show.

This is nothing new for CBS. This happens every Sunday during football season. They schedule 60 Minutes to start at 7 or 7:30 after the games when they know the odds are very low that it will start on time. For the entire season, people watching CBS shows have to wait until the last minute to find out when their shows will start and end.

I know sports is a money maker and I like sports, so I’m not advocating for the sports to be moved off of the network. I just think it would be nicer to their viewers if they scheduled a buffer postgame show after football and then start the Sunday night TV schedule at 8. it would mean one less show, but odds are that show would make way less money than the sports anyway.

ESPN, a network devoted to broadcasting sports, isn’t any better. They routinely schedule one basketball game to air at 7 pm and another at 9 pm knowing there is a very slim chance the 7 pm will be over in time to formthe 9 pm game on time. We routinely have to start watching the 9 pm game on the app or ESPN News. Saturdays they to that all day with games at 12, 2, 4, 6, and 8.

Sports on TV is nothing new. Why have networks not fixed this by now?


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