Ratings dissapoint for Kraft Bowl
One often overlooked asset of BC football is that we are a historically good TV draw. We have had high ratings on all ESPN platforms. Raycom usually jumps at the chance to broadcast our games. Up until this year our ability to spike TV ratings was the only silver lining to selecting BC in a bowl game. Maybe that isn't the case anymore. Ratings for the Kraft Bowl were down 65%. That is a huge drop. When you consider that the game was moved to January 9th and to a Sunday night the number should have been much better. Since BC was in both games, logic would point to the opponent as the driving force in the decline. USC is a great TV draw and Nevada, not so much. But if BC is going to take credit for the stellar ratings vs USC, than we have to take some of the blame for the stinker against Nevada.
The lack of Neilsen Eagle fans can be attributed to many things. I think the long layoff, the lack of storylines and the frustrating style of play turned off many casual BC fans. But there is also something to be said for how BC presents itself to its own fans. The constant lowering of expectations and playing up "the little engine that could" narrative grows stale or leaves BC fans wondering when are we ever going to get better. BC is quick to remind people of the turmoil of the Jags firing but like TOB touting the gambling scandal eventually it becomes a tired crutch. And a narrative, while important in selling a program to the media and recruits, doesn't make the product on the field any more exciting.
I think a new offensive coordinator and maturing team will win back some of BC's casual/TV only fans. But it is only a step. I think Gene needs to use his influence on Spaz to be more aggressive in his game management. Why should people watch if we keep playing it safe and not to lose. I also know it is hard for Spaz to be something he is not, but a little more optimism in his interviews would go a long way. His candid assessments at halftime would be charming if we were winning big. When you are barely over .500 they often come off as defeatist.
In the long run BC will always be a big market team that is an attractive TV partner. But I hope Gene works with ESPN and the ACC on how to make BC a better ratings generator. It our only hope to ever get into a decent bowl game.