Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Day the Music Died

It must be just Don MacLean said, yesterday was the day the music died. No, I realize that Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and The Big Bopper did not die yesterday. The death of the music I am referring to is the first time in six years that American Idol has not led the prime time TV ratings. What was the reason for this you might ask? Well, the Olympics almost doubled Idol with 30.1 million fans as opposed to 18.4 million music fans according to NBC Sports. Of course, they must realize that last night featured all the stories that the Vancouver Winter Olympics have been built upon. First, Apollo Anton Ohno continued his trek as the elder statesman of American short track speed skating. Then, Lindsey Vonn who quickly became the inspirational story of the Olympics by battling an injury arrived at prime time to a gold medal victory. Finally, the ultimate showman and arguably most popular American athlete of the Olympic Games, Shaun White, dropped into the half pipe and utterly demolished the competition while throwing down his newest invention, a double McTwist. Honestly, with all of these already established stars on one night, how could Idol expect to compete when all they feature are wannabe stars? Everyone has to realize that this was by no means coincidental; NBC knew the only way they could compete with Fox's megahit was by loading the lineup. As the article I previously cited on NBC Sports stated, "It's a business, folks, and the goal is to maximize ratings points not during the Dr. Oz and Judge Judy portion of the television calendar but when the majority of Americans are in their homes and watching their televisions." Think about it, why is curling on all afternoon? As I explained in an earlier post, curling does not bother me. However, I do realize that by and large it is among the least popular sports in the Winter Olympics. Also, think about the money that NBC raises while selling advertising for this time period. Buying an advertisement for 30.1 million people to see will not come cheap; therefore, NBC could charge a premium price for the limited spots. Anyway, it's good to see sports returned to their rightful place on top of ratings. I don't understand how reality TV has managed to stay on top of sports for this long...

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