college football games feel longer than ever

Why College Football Games Feel Longer Than Ever

College football leadership thinks they are immune to the viewer, and they are wrong. Imagine the scene: two people, one at a bustling stadium, the other lounging at home. Both united by the thrill of the game, but increasingly annoyed by its interruptions. The essence of college football is being overshadowed by commercials, seemingly elongated game times, and other disturbances. The question arises – is college football getting too greedy? The sad truth is, it already has. But just how far will it go?

  1. Interruption Marketing: Sports and advertising have always gone hand-in-hand, but what college football is doing now is on another level. This isn’t just a standard commercial break; it’s a constant barrage of ads disrupting the flow of the game. This excessive use of interruption marketing leads to nothing but boredom. Think about it: viewers nowadays pay extra for streaming services that promise no commercials. Yet, with college football, fans are seemingly paying extra just to have their game experiences littered with more ads. This begs the question, at what point will fans say, “no more”?
  2. The Game Day Experience – From the Stadium to the Couch: Being at the game should offer an unparalleled experience, but these days, it often feels better to stay at home. At least at home, you can switch channels, multitask, or stream something else. And that’s precisely what I’m doing more often than not. At the stadium? You’re stuck in the elements, be it scorching heat or chilling cold, enduring prolonged periods of inactivity because of commercials. Four hours is a long time, and it feels even longer when there’s more waiting and less action.
  3. Brands, Reconsider Your Game Plan: The brands that pop up during these interruptions might want to rethink their strategy. Every time their commercial breaks the game’s rhythm, I can’t help but think, “I’m not buying that bag of chips!” Their attempt at grabbing attention might just be doing more harm than good. By disrupting viewers’ experience, they’re creating a negative association with their products.
  4. The Value of Time: Time is precious. Every extended commercial break, every unnecessary game delay, is a theft of a viewer’s time. And while college football may reign supreme for now, there will come a point when fans feel too robbed to return. Personally, the charm isn’t the same for me anymore.

The Athletic’s Findings on Why College Football Games Feel Longer | The Reality of Perception

Recent research from The Athletic has thrown some misdirection into this discussion. Their studies indicate that there aren’t, in fact, more commercials. Surprisingly, game times have even seen a slight decrease. On paper, things seem to be moving in the right direction. But here’s the kicker: the games feel longer. This subjective experience, this gnawing feeling of drawn-out college football games, is perhaps even more problematic than the actual metrics.

Think about it. If the governing bodies of college football tout these findings as evidence of improvement, yet the average fan feels the opposite, there’s a major disconnect. It suggests that even the so-called positive changes aren’t resonating with the audience. The games may have been technically “sped up”, and they might not have added more commercials, but these adjustments have failed to enhance the viewer’s experience.

So, what’s going wrong? It’s likely the frequency and nature of the interruptions. A game isn’t just about its total run time. It’s about rhythm, flow, and pacing. Even if there are fewer commercials, their placement might be killing the momentum. And that’s what fans are picking up on.

In essence, by claiming to have improved the sport based on these findings, college football’s leadership might be missing the forest for the trees. It’s not always about the raw data but how that data translates to the lived experiences of fans. Currently, there’s a glaring gap between the two, and that’s a game no one wants to watch.

College Football Games Feel Longer Than Ever and That’s All That Matters

In the evolving landscape of college football, with changes like NIL and the transfer portal (which have their merits), one can’t help but ponder the direction the sport is heading. The introduction of Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL) rights brings in more financial opportunities. Yet, paradoxically, it feels (right or wrong) that game times are inflating to squeeze in more commercials and fund these very opportunities. It’s a balancing act, and right now, it feels like the scale is tipping away from the fans.

People are walking out of games, even if the match is nail-bitingly close. It’s absurd. Every minute added to game time, every extra commercial, every 30-second break takes away from the raw passion and energy that defines college football.

And let’s not even get started on external factors like ticket platforms such as Ticketmaster and StubHub. Their hefty fees are yet another burden for the dedicated fan, pushing the experience further out of reach for many.

In essence, the system seems to be biting the hand that feeds it. There’s a cost, and it’s not just monetary. It’s the spirit of the game, the loyalty of fans, and the shared moments that are now overshadowed by extended game times and interruptions.

How much more can fans bear? At some point, you tax people too much – not just their wallets but also their patience, their dedication, and, most crucially, their time. Push too hard, and you risk pushing them away forever.

In the end, the decision-makers in college football need to ask themselves: What’s the endgame here? Is the short-term profit worth the long-term disillusionment of your most loyal supporters? Because, at this rate, the very soul of college football is at stake.


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