Sunday, September 17, 2006

ESPN College GameDay Selling Out

You'll find numerous websites and blogs with this headline or one similar, all over the internet today. College Gameday, is a traveling college preview show, which once used to set up shop on the campus of the biggest game of the day. It has now sold out and travels to wherever ESPN's sister network, ABC, is televising the ABC Saturday night game. Yesterday was a prime example. On a day which featured such titanic matchups as Auburn-LSU, Tennessee-Florida, and Michigan-Notre Dame, Gameday chose to go to the LA Coliseum, where Nebraska would be playing USC. How pitiful. ESPN has admitted their change in policy - I like to call it selling out - in a column that Gameday host, Chris Fowler wrote. Below is an excerpt. Find the entire article here.

For 13 seasons, the locations of the GameDay road shows have been editorial decisions based on the college football landscape. The basic principle was to (almost) always come from the site of the "biggest game," or occasionally, "the best story." Several times, we have visited the edge of the radar screen to pay tribute to the Mid American Conference's rise (at Bowling Green), the service academies (Air Force and West Point) or the tradition of the Bayou Classic.

Now, the philosophy has been rethought by upper management. For the first time, the competitive landscape of football programming is a frequent consideration. Serving the needs of ABC's new prime-time package of games is often a priority. The decision on GameDay's site is less a clear-cut "best game" philosophy now and is more complicated, made on a landscape where terms like "synergy" and "branding" live.

For other, more in depth blogs talking about this poor decision, see "Why Isn't ESPN College Gameday Crew at the LSU/Auburn Game This Weekend?"

College Gameday is Officially Selling Out

A nice article from LSU, and here's a good college football blogger's post about it.

You can also read about ESPN on ABC here.