Monday, November 8, 2010

I'm a Carolina Panthers fan. Been one since I was a kid growing up in Rembert, SC and it was announced that the Carolinas would be getting an NFL team placed in Charlotte. But as a fan, I don't want to see any more Panthers games on TV the rest of this season.

Panthers games, which air each Sunday on FOX, have become painful to watch. There's practically no offense, and it's offensive to me that I now have to watch the Panthers each Sunday at 1 p.m. because no other games will be shown in our region while their game is on. Yesterday while the New Orleans Saints were beating the hell out of the Panthers, better games were on that FOX, home to NFC games, could've shown such as the competitive match-up between the Atlanta Falcons and Tampa Bay Buccaneers (both teams entered the game with 5-2 records and the Falcons went on to win 27-21). And because of the powerful NFL television rights deals, when the Panthers games are on FOX, we, locally, don't get a 1 p.m. AFC game on CBS (we get infomercials or some movie no one really wants to see). Fortunately, we got the 4 p.m. game on CBS, which was the Philadelphia Eagles versus the Indianapolis Colts.

This is not a rant on the Panthers. At the halfway point they're 1-7, and their season is all but over, so there's no need to beat a dying horse. This is a rant on how the NFL chooses to televise games. When the TV schedule was created, at the time it looked like a good match-up for the home-viewing audience to watch the defending Super Bowl champs play their usually tough divisional opponent. But we've all known for about a month now that this game wasn't going to be much of a game. And because of that, the NFL should've revised the TV schedule and broadcast the Falcons/Bucs game in our area--fellow NFC South rivals in which both teams are currently on pace to make the playoffs.

Dallas Cowboys games shouldn't be televised the remainder of this season either.

I know what you're probably thinking, "Jarvis why don't you just get the NFL Sunday Ticket package through DirecTV?" I do have DirecTV, but I'm not that much of an NFL fanatic to shell out extra cash to watch all those games, when I prefer to just see the highlights for most of them anyway. I'd be content if every Sunday at 1 p.m., I'm given an AFC game on CBS and an NFC game on FOX. And for the latter, that game not be the Panthers the rest of this season.

Or even if they are showing the Panthers game, in the case of yesterday, FOX should've cut away from the Panthers/Saints game at the start of the fourth quarter to show us another game. That's what networks do when broadcasting NCAA basketball games during March Madness, for example. Once one game is virtually decided because of an insurmountable lead, they switch to a different, more compelling game. All FOX does with NFL games is take us to another game once one has ended and if the other has a couple of minutes left and is close. I'd prefer they do a full-on switch during the fourth quarter (if not halftime).

The Panthers are struggling right now and probably will the remainder of the season. The NFL and FOX should spare them the embarrassment of broadcasting their trouncing into millions of homes. And both entities would be better served for the switch--the NFL would continue to give fans a compelling product, and FOX would get better ratings--because I'm sure many people, like myself, have stopped watching that 1-4 p.m. Sunday time slot.


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