It’s ironic to me that a network that has morphed into so much that is wrong, can get something so incredibly right. I’m talking about ESPN and their Saturday morning must-see: College Gameday.
ESPN shot to the top by recognizing the changing landscape of sports reporting and delivering (better than anyone…and before anyone) on the promise to balance information with entertainment. Along the way, the network decided to advance itself as the conscience of the information they supply – that’s a problem. Couple that with lucrative broadcast contracts that have influenced how and on what they report, and now you’ve got a real mess.
Regardless, I am not one of those “Four Letter Network” bashers that fails to recognize the complexity of today’s broadcast media and the pressures to remain on-top.
With more credible suitors than ever for the same slice of ratings real estate, it is more difficult than ever to achieve a responsible balance. Too often, that difficulty results in a guy in a suit overthinking something and messing with a product that needs no tinkering. That’s precisely why I cannot believe College Gameday has been permitted to proceed as is for so long. I’m ecstatic, for it is fantastic – a true weekly must-see.
Check out how they handled this dude this past weekend. This is what I mean – they get it. Information: check. Entertainment: check. Willingness to embrace the lunacy of your environment: check. College Gameday is the perfect execution of the sports broadcasting formula for success.