Sunday, May 29, 2011

So.... people still don't care about soccer

If you watched yesterday's Champions League final, you no doubt know who this guy is. That's Ian Leonard, meteorologist for KMSP, the local Fox affiliate. There was a thunderstorm that rolled through the south metro and there were reports of large hail and even a tornado. I can't fault the TV station for having such pervasive coverage of what could have been a serious situation.
That said, last weekend, an NHL playoff game on NBC was interrupted by tornado coverage. The local affiliate provided wall to wall coverage of that. It clearly didn't affect every person in the metro, so as an alternative, the hockey game was moved to another of KARE's networks.
What happened yesterday? The storm, which affected much fewer viewers than the north Minneapolis tornado, was given wall-to-wall coverage. As I said, that wasn't the problem. The problem was that the game was simply placed in a small box at the side of the screen without any audio. What's worse, there were no other options. Despite this being the biggest match in the world, perhaps with more viewers than the Super Bowl worldwide, Minnesotans were not given another option. And if you had a problem with it? Too bad. Instead of an apologetic tone, KMSP anchors were aggressive and rude, scolding  miffed soccer fans, as their match was relegated to second tier, like Wigan Athletic.
The question I have, if this had been an early regular season NFL game, would KMSP have taken the same stance? Of course, if they had, you better believe there would have been other outlets to watch the game.

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