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The Bucky Channel is making a triumphant comeback. Stay tuned for the latest.


The Bucky Channel is making a triumphant comeback. Stay tuned for the latest.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

CBS Made a Bold Move for the 2014-2015 Season, Here's One Suggestion Each for the Other Networks

With upfronts just a little more than a month away, the major broadcast networks are either scrambling (ABC, NBC, Fox) or putting the finishing touches on (CBS) their 2014-2015 schedule. There are always many factors each network head considers when putting together their final slate, but one factor that seems to be controlling the sleepless nights of these executives is the simple fact that there are less viewers in broadcast primetime than ever before. At least less viewers that are watching their programs live. Yes, broadcast television has and will continue to lose viewers to cable but there will always be an audience for the shows on the "over-the-air" networks. That audience however is more and more devouring those offerings on their own time (DVR, streaming services) which is leading to decreased ratings, which in turn is leading to lower ad revenue for the broadcast nets.

So how, in an age where we are almost a 100 percent on-demand culture, do you assure those live eyeballs and delay the death of the network broadcast model? You have to be, and let me hit just hit a couple of buttons here, but you have to be bold. Bold as in programming moves that no one would see coming, but moves that also make quite a bit of sense to attracting and maintaining viewers. No network is immune to this strategy, a strategy that you've already seen put into effect in the very recent past. CBS, the number one network in primetime, bought the rights to eight Thursday night NFL games for the upcoming fall season. Keep in mind, these right are not exclusive (they will also be shown on the NFL Network) and CBS already had a great Thursday night lineup (ratings-wise, do not take this as my endorsement of the quality of programming that The Big Bang Theory is not). But they made the move because the landscape is changing, more and more by the season. With that in mind, here are four bold moves I'd suggest to the other networks to get more live eyeballs back on their networks.

1. Fox should acquire the rights to WWE Monday Night RAW. Not for one of their cable networks, but for actual Fox.

WWE on broadcast television wouldn't be a new thing, NBC famously aired "Saturday Night's Main Event" starting in the mid-1980's and it came back for a second run in the late half of the 2000's. Even Fox has aired wrestling before, picking up the rights to the show in 1992 but only airing it twice. The WWE package is up for grabs right now and Fox is a rumored partner, however with programming likely to air on one of their cable nets, be it FX or Fox Sports 1. Currently Monday Night RAW resides on USA and Smackdown is on Friday nights on Syfy, two networks a part of the NBC Universal family. They have the right to match any offer but with the guaranteed audience that Monday Night Raw delivers (it did a 1.9 adult rating on the Monday after Wrestlemania, which is more healthy than what The Following has offering in recent weeks) I think this move would be a coup for Fox. Yes, you would have to take away an hour from your network affiliates (unless they go back to a two-hour RAW starting at 8ET or put the third hour on FX or Fox Sports 1 - both options unlikely), but you acquire two more hours of live event programming which is about as DVR proof as it gets. WWE would benefit with more exposure and credibility which would lead to more eyes and more dollars to their WWE Network. Fox could use wrestler cameos on some of their primetime shows as well. If Fox wants to get really bold, they could air one of the pay-per-view events on their network per year, possibly Summerslam or maybe go for broke and air a Wrestlemania live on network TV. The more I think about this the more both unlikely and intelligent this move seems.

2. NBC should renew Parks and Recreation and Community, move them to Saturday nights at 10/9 Central.

People stay home on Saturday nights, believe me, it's true. You get to a certain age and it just happens. But while there's really no point to watching anything in primetime on Saturdays right now, SNL still draws a lot of viewers, and a lot of them are live. It's consistently the top-rated show on all of broadcast come Saturday nights, despite it's 11:30pm Eastern start time. So maybe it's time NBC gives the show a proper lead-in. Take your two critically acclaimed cult comedies that draw barely a 1.0 18-49 rating on Thursday nights and move them to Saturdays at 10 ET. If people do venture out that night, they'll DVR the show like most fans of those shows do anyway. I'd schedule NBC Saturdays like this - 

8 ET       Best of Late Night with Seth Meyers
9 ET       Best of the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon
10 ET     Parks and Recreation
1030ET  Community

Add those best of shows (weekly highlight shows in essence) to help the night flow and expose more eyes to your late-night programming (one concern would be that people would be less inclined to watch The Tonight Show or Late Night live, but I don't fear that outcome too much in this scenario). I would hold off on this schedule until January after the college football season has concluded however. Seem crazy? It is. But NBC on Saturday nights (or anyone for that matter) can't do much worse than what they are doing now.

3. ABC should take the "Agents of S.H.E.I.L.D. strategy" and apply that to their Disney connections. Also, TGIF.

The TV ratings landscape has really changed over the last decade. Let's take a look at the 9pm Eastern hour from Tuesday, April 15th. On the Tiffany network, you have NCIS:LA bringing in a monster 14.69 million people and a 2.1 rating in adults 18-49. On ABC, you have Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. bringing in nearly ten million less eyeballs but still ending up with the same 2.1 rating. Still, both networks accomplished their goal for the evening. ABC drew a strong number in the demo it cares about, while CBS attracted a lot of their normal older viewers but still did a nice job hitting that 18-49 demo. Forget about all those numbers and demos though and let me give you a different age group to care about. Kids. Specifically kids that are obsessed with the things that they like, which in turn, is actually most kids. When you're young and you like something, you go all out, and I'd like to see ABC capitalize on that fact.

With Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, ABC took the most popular movie franchise and turned it into a television show. Knowing you're not going to get Robert Downey Jr. to play the Iron Man on TV, they instead took secondary characters from The Avengers franchise and worked it into a show. Perhaps the ratings haven't been as boffo as the network may have optimistically hoped for, but I'm telling you, a 2.1 18-49 number is a number that any network will take on any night at any time (and if you somehow not only found this article and are still reading it, you know that is the case as well). What I'm suggesting for ABC is to take that strategy and apply it to their Disney library. I'm not taking airing Frozen at 7pm on Sunday as part of The Wonderful World of Disney, I'm saying take a secondary character from Frozen and build a spinoff around that. Or with any Pixar film. Get that revenue stream and bring it to your network.

Where would you program a show like this? Friday nights of course. I'm not the only one who's going to suggest that you bring back TGIF. This block of programming was loved by my generation as kids and there's no reason ABC can't try to duplicate that success. If anything, ABC should be the network airing the Girl Meets World, not the Disney channel. I bet just as many people aged 25-34 watch the follow up series to Boy Meets World as kids do.

Capitalize on nostalgia and capitalize on the addictive personalities of kids. TV success!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Three Cheers to Gord Ash

Sunday, January 19, 2014

New Thursday Night NFL Package: Whos the Favorite?

It took a long time before the NFL Network gained the sort of access into America's homes that they have today, and part of the reason they are able to justify not only being on most cable packages but also charge consumers about a buck and a half per subscriber for their network is the fact that they show live games on Thursday nights. They still want to bring you those games in 2014, but they also want another network to pay for them.

Here's what the NFL is proposing to networks - you pay us for the right to air NFL games on Thursdays, BUT we also get to air the network as well. So NBC, ABC, Fox, CBS, whoever it ends up being, they are going to pay millions of dollars for something that will already be aired on another network. Will they share a feed? Will two different crews broadcast the game? Either way, someone is going to pay millions of dollars for the right to air possibly 13 or so games (I believe Thanksgiving, Opening Night, and the last week(s?) of the season are not included in the deal. And because the NFL can do whatever they want, they'll just be finding yet another way to profit from their product.

Side note: Roger Goodell made a deal with the devil. A Super Bowl in New York City? What about a a blizzard? What about the cold? Guess what - at last check Feb 2nd in NYC is going to be 52 degrees and sunny. Alright, back to the topic at hand.

So what network do I think will win the bid for Thursday night football? Here we go, and keep in mind that the NFL wants to sell this to a broadcast network and not a cable channel. So NBC can't bid and put the game on NBCSN, and Fox can't bid and put the games on Fox Sports 1. Well, I mean, they can bid like that but I think the NFL will ultimately award the games to a broadcast network. Alright, here's my odds:

Turner Sports - 1% 

Turner had rumored interest - remember they used to broadcast a half season of Sunday Night Football back in the day - but again I think the NFL keeps the games off of cable because they will already be on cable on their network. Turner would have to get creative (and pay a lot of money) to get the bid. Like maybe put the game on TNT, the home radio feed on TBS and the away audio on TruTV. I'm not sure they'd even be able to get clearance to do that without providing their own broadcast teams, but that's how you would do it.

CBS - 6% 

I put CBS down so low because I'm not sure they want it. That's right, CBS is that strong in their primetime lineup and on Thursday nights especially that I think they put in a bid for posterity and nothing else.

Fox - 10%

Fox desperately would take these games but they will be too insistent on putting the games on Fox Sports 1. Or I could see them putting together a package where 10 games are on Fox and three are on Fox Sports 1. Or maybe the first three quarters are on Fox and then switch to Fox Sports 1 for quarter number four! All kidding aside, a split Fox/Fox Sports 1 package is likely and they are solid contenders but I think they will be outbid, basically.

NBC - 23%

NBC could also present a split NBC/NBC Sports package come to think of it. But you know, the Peacock could really use it on their broadcast network, especially with their comedic failures of this season. Plus, they already have the Thursday night season opener and the Thanksgiving night game, so it makes sense. But I think they will be outbid, strongly, by...

ABC - 60%

ESPN sees it's challengers in NBC, Fox, and even CBS all all three are giving their own sports networks the ol' college try. But ESPN will not be defeated, and they will throw a bone to their partners at ABC. ESPN will put together the package with the games to air on ABC, a network that would kill to have a solid Thursday night performer and would love to get the NFL back on it's airwaves. ESPN may ask the NFL for more rights in the deal, such as the ability to bring NFL Primetime back on Sunday nights at 6pm (NBC airs Football Night in America at that time so the NFL gave exclusive highlight rights to Dan Patrick and the gang but I could see that changing). Either way, I think ABC's desire for the NFL to return will show up in their bid and they'll be bringing you Thursday night football next season.

But so will the NFL Network, of course.

How to Spend Your Sundays Once Football is Over

Whether your team is in it or not, Championship Sunday is one of the best Sundays of the year. It's also a sad one, because this is going to be the last time you can really take a whole day to watch football until late next summer. We still have the Super Bowl of course, but that comes later in the evening and there is a whole day beforehand that you have to figure out what you're going to do with your life. You have to admit, the lack of pigskin is going to take some getting used to. For the last 20 plus weeks (and one more to come, an no, I do not count the Pro Bowl next week) we've been able to plop down on the couch and take in  9 plus hours of football before we head back to the treachery that is our worklife. And even though we're likely still on the couch all day, with the lack of football things just seem less... productive.  No team to root for, no fantasy scores to check, no pizza to order. So how do we spend our Sundays until the NFL is finally back? Let's go over some ideas.

* You knew it was coming, so let me say it first. Soccer! The EPL is in full swing, and even though I'm more of an MLS guy, good soccer is good soccer. Sure, you might have to get up a little earlier to watch the Premier League, but there used to be a time where not a single TV set in America could show the game outside of a few ethnic bars in New York City. If you are more of the MLS type, the league is in it's preseason soon and the season starts up again in March. Go Timbers.

* Speaking of hockey, NBC is pretty good at showing games on Sundays, as is the NBC Sports Network. Find more games on NHL Center Ice!

* Still want to have the buddies over? Poker tournaments are the way to go. My high school life saw me at a different friends house every weekend playing cards, and even though we mostly live in the same area to this day, the card tournaments are faded. Everytime we get together we say, "Let's play cards sometime!" and all agree to it, but then never do. This is my call to action - cards next weekend boys?

* Or... grab a good DVD set and go on a television watching binge. I'm in the middle of a "Fringe Binge" and in addition to that my wife and I just made a trade - I watch Dawson's Creek and she watches Lost. Yes, that's a lot of Joshua Jackson, but I'm a sucker for good teen dramedies.

Yeah... it's gonna be a long offseason.

Paul George Oh My G

I mean, look at this. It's the the dunk contest only in a freakin' game.

It's still exciting to see great plays in the NBA even in the season where you aren't seeing many out of Milwaukee. The NBA is a league I can still get into even when my team is struggling, but the one thing that tempers my excitement is the fact that I'm all but certain the Bucks will still get the fourth lottery pick no matter where they land in the standings. They are going to get screwed and we all know it. The NBA is not rigged itself but the lottery definitely is (hyperbole claim with no fact to back it up alert). Three can't miss prospects in the draft and the worst team in the league would be better off in Seattle according to the league office? At least there are still plays like this to get excited for a league that isn't excited about Milwaukee.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Also Suspended? My Interest in the Braun Suspension

The following was originally posted in Summer of 2013 after news broke that Ryan Braun would be suspended for the rest of the season due his involvement in baseball's ever prevalent PED scandal. With the announcement that Braun will be at the Brewers On-Deck event at the end of January, we take a look back at my thoughts from that time. An article that was written in the heat of the moment can be reflected word for word with my thoughts today. Months later, they are unchanged. Braun will be a Brewer in 2014. I will be at Opening Day for his first at-bat. And I will give him a round of applause.


I don't care.

I feel like I should, but I don't. I feel like I should be outraged, upset that one of my favorite players on my favorite team has been cheating the system and cheating me for years. Or perhaps I should be supportive, defending the guy that's given me so much joy since he became a Brewer. But I just do not care.

Maybe I'm growing apathetic. Maybe I've been too busy this summer to pay too much attention to this situation. Maybe if the Brewers were better and I'd care a little more. Maybe if I wasn't as busy I'd have more emotion. Maybe right now there are more important things in my life and caring about whether or not a baseball player did something illegal.

It's not like me not to care. I'm known for never cutting it down the middle. I'm a passionate guy. I'm either all in or all against. And when I have opinions I'm loud about it. And with topics so big like this one, Ryan Braun using steroids or PEDs or whatever he vaguely admitted to today, you would think that would draw ire from me towards him or ire from me towards those against him. I'm really trying hard to care a little bit more about this, I'm tightening my muscles and clenching my wrists trying to put out a grin and trying to spark up an emotion. But I still just don't care.

Then again, I'm not a baseball purist. I grew up the biggest baseball fan you could be. It was my sport and my dreams were of being a big leauger. In 1994, baseball went on strike and those dreams went away (also the fact that I was terrible at baseball. Like catcher in T-ball terrible). I grew to hate baseball and swore I'd never watch it again. You know what brought me back? That's right, the homerun chase of 1998. Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire. Now no, that doesn't justify the use of steroids in the game, but I'm not writing this article without that homerun chase because without that homerun chase I may never have gotten back into the game. 

Listening to sports radio today - a profession that I am in! - I grew upset at the radio hosts for their compassion. One particular conversation I heard was whether or not they think the fans will give Braun a Standing O on Opening Day 2014. Most of the guys on the roundtable thought that the fans would while another thought it would be blasphemy if the fans reacted that way. I don't know. I think I would give him a standing ovation. He did wrong but he's our guy. A standing ovation opening day doesn't mean we support him doing drugs or support him lying. It means we support the recovery process. We forgive him for his mistakes. 

Maybe by then I will care. Maybe I will be upset. But right now I just don't feel the emotion.

I just don't care.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Make Your Fantasy Baseball Season As Crazy As Possible? I Think We Just Might.

As you guys know, I don't feel like you can ever be in too many fantasy leagues. That same logic applies for baseball and we have already set the draft date in my 100 dollar auction keeper league (see you boys March 22nd). Before that though, a "winter meeting" of sorts has been planned at a local establishment mainly to discuss what to do with a category that the league can not agree on - innings pitched. You may be like me and think "how in the hell is innings pitched an actual category"? Guys, I really have no idea. I also have no idea how it's an even split in this league. Five people are against, while five people somehow like the category. I think it's beyond stupid for a category so I'm going armed to the meeting with a full list of new categories for 2014.

5 hitting 

Average time of at bat

Broken bats (counts if broken on hit or out of frustration)

Average length (or height, your call) of foul balls hit

Doubles percentage (this was a metric when I worked at charter. Figures it's accurate for baseball as well).

Percentage of time that batter truly ran it out to first as hard as he could even when it seemed like he'd be thrown out regardless

5 pitching 

Pitches thrown

Rosin bag pick ups per game

Straightness of brim on cap

Times shaking off catcher signal per inning

Average length of jump when pitcher crosses over 1st/3rd base line when going back to dugout

What do you guys think?

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Do I Hate Certain Teams More Than I Love the Packers?

Watching the Seahawks/Saints game today, I realize I think I hate certain teams more than I actually love the Packers. I mean, I love the Packers. That goes without saying. But I think there is a scale. A love/hate scale. For as much as you love something, you can hate something the same amount. So for as much as I love the Packers, I hate certain teams just as much.

The obvious teams to hate are the Lions, Bears, and Vikings. Of those three, I hate the Vikings the most. I lived in La Crosse for six years, was around a lot of Vikings fans. And the whole Favre thing. Plus, I respect the Bears. The Vikings? I honestly don't get the appeal in that team. Except for AP. He's allright.

Other teams come and go. Niners. Cowboys. Eagles. Giants. Basically whoever last beat the Packers in the playoffs. But the Seahawks. I can not stand the Seahawks. Russell Wilson doesn't do it for me, I'm not like everyone else where I like him just because he went to Wisconsin. I think his act is contrived, and I don't like how cocky he was after the Fail Mary game. Pete Carroll. He's the worst too. I'll never get that image of him of him standing by the ref when the final verdict for the touchdown came down that night. So painful.

This article was written by a shell of my former self.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Green Day Sucks

This is way off-topic, but I hate Green Day. I'm writing a Brewers post right now, and Green Day popped up on the station I'm listening to and I just had to express this thought. Maybe their old stuff was good, but no record that they've made past 1998 is worth anything. Their songs never seem to end either. Just some terrible, terrible music. They are so watered down but nobody will admit it because of how good of an album Dookie was. But man do they suck now.

Thanks for your time.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Bucks Are 1000:1 Odds to Win the NBA Finals. That Seems Very High to Me

Thanks to our friend Jimmy Shapiro who has passed along some NBA odds from to me. Find the full list on their website and as always we break down what you can make (read: lose) if you plan to bet on the Milwaukee Bucks. First, no surprise that the Heat are still the best odds to win at 2:1. Following them are the Pacers at 7:2 and the Thunder at 7:1. Spurs come in at 7:1 and our friends from Golden State are 12:1. The Bucks? Well, not good. They were 350:1 in December but are now 1000:1.

First off, isn't that a little high? I mean there is no way in the hell the Bucks win the finals. They have the worst record in the NBA and are clearly tanking. You're telling me I could put a buck on the Bucks and win a grand if they win the NBA Finals? That's not enough of an incentive to lay even 100 cents down on this crappy team. I don't even know if I'd give up a dollar for a million to one odds. I'm not kidding. Never say never, but it is impossible for the Bucks to win the NBA finals this year. So why waste the dollar?

Milwaukee comes in at 500:1 odds to win the East. Yeah, not taking that either.

If you do want to make some money on an awful Bucks season (again, awful is subjective. We are rooting for the Bucks to do bad for a better draft pick, so really the more awful they are the better it is for the franchise, right?), bet on the Greek Freak for rookie of the year.

2013-14 Rookie of the Year - Odds to Win        
Michael Carter-Williams (PHI)      5/4
Trey Burke (UT)                         2/1
Victor Oladipo (ORL)                 5/2
Tim Hardaway Jr. (NY)               12/1
Ben McLemore (SAC)                15/1

Giannis Antetokounmpo (MIL)    20/1

You know, 20:1 odds isn't terrible for a guy who is really coming into his own as we predicted at the beginning of the year, he just needed the minutes. What the hell.... There's a few sports betting sites that help us bring you content, I'll help them in return and put 5 bucks on G for the ROY award. 

Monday, January 6, 2014

Packers Podcast: Kaepernick Strikes Again

Another Packers season ends at the hand of a quarterback that I still don't think is very good, Colin Kaepernick. I mean, sure, he's good. But is he? Yeah. But not really. (Emotions are running all over the place still after yesterday's game. I feel like someone dumped coffee all over the motherboard that connects my brain, heart, and mouth). For a little better analysis, we go as always to our friend at, Brian Carriveau.

Packers Podcast: Colin Kaepernick Beats Green Bay With His Legs

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