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the shorten-the-OT argument is back [split]

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  • the shorten-the-OT argument is back [split]

    * Shorten the U.S. Olympic Team Trials - Track & Field to five days.

    Something kuha, I and others have advocated for a long time.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Conor Dary
    * Shorten the U.S. Olympic Team Trials - Track & Field to five days.

    Something kuha, I and others have advocated for a long time.
    YES. YES. YES.

    I've never bought the argument that a longer trials resulted in more media coverage. A truly action-packed few days would get the national spotlight in a far better way than a dull, stretched-out, 10-day marathon... The $$ issue is another thing entirely...

    Comment


    • #3
      Two weekends provides more coverage and better then one any day for those who agree with shortening. and isn't that why we hired this guy to get more press? How is removing half our coverage on our US champs give us more press coverage?

      What coverage? Maybe in Eugene. The rest of the world forget it. Even Phil Hersh said the Trials should be 5 to 6 days. Most days there is nothing going on.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Conor Dary
        Two weekends provides more coverage and better then one any day for those who agree with shortening. and isn't that why we hired this guy to get more press? How is removing half our coverage on our US champs give us more press coverage?

        What coverage? Maybe in Eugene. The rest of the world forget it. Even Phil Hersh said the Trials should be 5 to 6 days. Most days there is nothing going on.
        Right. If the Superbowl game was broken up into 6 minute slices and broadcast over 10 days, how many viewers would stick with the whole thing? Far better to have a short-n-sweet, action-packed event...which is exactly what our Trials ain't.

        Comment


        • #5
          NBC a few years back made a request or rather a demand on USATF to give them a 2 hour event. A five day meet would only garner one 2 hour showing on NBC, while an event over 2 weekends gets two 2-hour showings on NBC. That's twice the number of hours in my math. This past year that's what NBC covered, now if you consider the 1 hour shows on versus the other days, we received 9 hours of tv coverage. Those looking at shortening would only get 6 if we are lucky (4 1-hour shows and 1 2-hour). And that's if TV covers every day. How is that better for the sport? They are never going to give us a 6 hour or even 4 hour time block. So condensing the days loses TV time. ( I know I'm off here but I was traveling during the Trials and I believe this is what I had available. Did versus show 1 hour or 1-1/2 hours?)

          I would be for a condensing the schedule if it guarantees the same amount of TV time. But more TV coverage is what I thought we are looking for? Can't get that with a shorter meet. And if they want to attract viewers to other events the shorter schedule will mean more events left on the editing room floor. Only the named events or athletes will get covered in shorter time period. Plus, two weekends gets us in the news and papers on numerous days versus one recap on sunday or monday. So it's either more press or a high packed event? I know I would prefer the latter, but if we are truely after a bigger presence in todays sports market then a longer trials gets us closer to the goal. (example NCAA march madness is always looking to expand, why? because it will garner more media coverage.)

          Comment


          • #6
            From the study:

            A shorter Olympic Trials could potentially reduce ticket-sale revenues for local organizers, but
            having higher-quality sessions over fewer days may enable ticket prices to be higher. TV
            revenues may be impacted as well. These considerations factor in, but USATF must not lose
            sight of the fact that the purpose of the Olympic Trials is to select the best Olympic Team that
            will go on to perform at its peak at the Games themselves. Financial and other concerns should
            be secondary to this goal.

            Comment


            • #7
              Plus, two weekends gets us in the news and papers on numerous days versus one recap on sunday or monday.

              I don't know where you get your news but, here in Chicago, even with Phil Hersh covering the meet for the Tribune most days had only 1 paragraph on what was happening.

              As for those nightly broadcast? Who watched them? I certainly did not on most nights.

              Yes, two weekends would be great. But then you have 5 days in between...

              This fallacy that more is better is echoed pretty well by kuha.

              Which is the more watched and anticipated event? The one day Super Bowl or the two week World Series. The former set a new viewing record, while the latter's is getting worse every year.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Conor Dary
                Two weekends provides more coverage and better then one any day for those who agree with shortening. and isn't that why we hired this guy to get more press? How is removing half our coverage on our US champs give us more press coverage?

                What coverage? Maybe in Eugene. The rest of the world forget it. Even Phil Hersh said the Trials should be 5 to 6 days. Most days there is nothing going on.
                Yes, but you're making the flawed assumption that he's a track fan. He's not. He's a guy who covers all the Olympic sports for the Trib and spends far more time on the road away from his family than he'd like. His opinion, I'm afraid, counts for next to nothing here. (And I like Phil)

                Comment


                • #9
                  I haven't had a chance to read the full report yet, but my initial view is to prefer six days of competition split into consecutive three-day weekends: Saturday- Monday followed by Friday-Sunday. Leave the Tuesday-Thursday in between empty or dedicate those days only to the decathlon/heptathlon.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    From the NY Times synopsis

                    <<Shortening the grueling 10-day trials to no more than five days was suggested as a way to reduce the physical, emotional and financial strain placed on the athletes.>>

                    HUH?!!!! Other than a few top-end sprinters, and a distance runner or two, the OT doesn't last 10 days. It lasts 2-3. You come to town, you compete and you're done, just like at a normal nationals. The shortened Trials will have no effect on the great majority of competitors in this regard. But it will make it harder for people to do 5/10 doubles and will probably up the injury rate for the sprinters.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by gh
                      But it will make it harder for people to do 5/10 doubles and will probably up the injury rate for the sprinters.
                      That's only assuming the 5 days are consecutive, which shouldn't be the only option on the table. I'd like a 'Fri-Sun for two weekends' option. That makes it really hard on the casual tourist, but seein' as how there's no such thing in T&F, and Eugene Trials will continue to sell out, and I'd go again, maybe even for the whole time, and take a 'different' vacation in the hiatus, I say go for it.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by gh
                        Originally posted by Conor Dary
                        Two weekends provides more coverage and better then one any day for those who agree with shortening. and isn't that why we hired this guy to get more press? How is removing half our coverage on our US champs give us more press coverage?

                        What coverage? Maybe in Eugene. The rest of the world forget it. Even Phil Hersh said the Trials should be 5 to 6 days. Most days there is nothing going on.
                        Yes, but you're making the flawed assumption that he's a track fan. He's not. He's a guy who covers all the Olympic sports for the Trib and spends far more time on the road away from his family than he'd like. His opinion, I'm afraid, counts for next to nothing here. (And I like Phil)
                        Well how many other papers outside of Eugene have full time writers that are real track fans? Probably a group of writers that could fit around a hold 'em table and still leave room for the dealer, and a few more players.

                        My point was that the Tribune is, more than likely, ahead of most of the papers in sending someone, who at least knows track and
                        still the news on most days is... nothing. More useless rounds.

                        As for athletes competing on only 2 or 3 days?

                        The reason the meet is 10 days is all the bloated rounds that only invite injury. Four rounds in the sprints is 2 rounds too many.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I believe I wrote a column about 10 years ago proposing a 2-weekend 6-day Trials. I'd still be all for that.

                          But at a time when the sport gets virtually no TV time, any proposal that's going to halve the coverage just seems suicidal in my books.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Conor Dary
                            ....

                            My point was that the Tribune is, more than likely, ahead of most of the papers in sending someone, who at least knows track and
                            still the news on most days is... nothing. ....
                            That's because one big reason that the Trib (and NYT and SI and all the other big hitters) send anybody to the OT--or any other meet--these days is to be sure they're johnny on the spot when the next big drug scandal hits.

                            Scaling back the OT because the print media has lost interest in it certainly seems a strange bit of reasoning.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by gh
                              I believe I wrote a column about 10 years ago proposing a 2-weekend 6-day Trials. I'd still be all for that.

                              But at a time when the sport gets virtually no TV time, any proposal that's going to halve the coverage just seems suicidal in my books.
                              We've been thru all this before. I'd also be in favor of a 2-weekend meet. It would be bad for spectators, but just fine for athletes and TV viewers.

                              However, I simply cannot buy your basic premise that any and all coverage is to the good. I couldn't disagree more strongly: quality needs to trump pure quantity. Is coverage of the current drawn out and diluted OT schedule actually gaining the sport wider recognition and fans? I sincerely doubt it. Will a shorter, more focussed meet do so? There's no guarantee, but I honestly suspect the answer is yes.

                              Comment

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