My annual geography lesson for the nice people at CBS who decide who gets to watch which games where:

OK. We’re in Pittsburgh. That’s in the western part of Pennsylvania, that rectangular-looking state in yellow in the eastern part of the country. The local school plays in the Big East, a conference that encompasses much of the eastern half of the U.S., and I’d think there’s a pretty decent chance that folks who live in Pittsburgh might have some interest in watching a Big East team play its first-round NCAA tournament game.

That school, Georgetown, is playing Ohio University, a school that sits in southeastern Ohio — that’s the green state right next door to Pennsylvania. While there isn’t much of a direct local connection between OU (in the interest of disclosure, my Alma Mater) and Pittsburgh, I think it stands to reason there’s a somewhat significant geographic connection between my current hometown and the state that’s about a half-hour drive to the west.

But instead of making that the primary game for the Pittsburgh market tonight, nice CBS programming person, you’ve decided we’d be much more interested in watching Northern Iowa play the University of Nevada-Las Vegas.

Hm. Let’s take another look at that map. Iowa is also a green state, dead-set in the north-central portion of the country. It’s probably close to 1,000 miles from here to there. And Nevada? It’s also a green state on map, but it’s all the way out by California! Wow — that’s a long way away from here!

Pittsburgh is a decent-sized metropolitan area, and I’m sure there are a few alumni of Northern Iowa and UNLV living here; I’m equally sure those few are pretty happy about being able to watch their teams in the comfort of their living rooms tonight. BUT IF YOU’D TAKE A SECOND AND LOOK AT A FREAKING MAP WHEN YOU’RE MAKING THESE DECISIONS, YOU’D SEE THAT YOU’VE ONCE AGAIN PICKED THE WRONG FREAKING GAME FOR PITTSBURGH.

Thanks. We’ll see you here again next year, I’m sure.


  1. I was reading complaints yesterday because CBS funked up the RMU feed yesterday. transitioning between games without notice and that the online feed was as stable as AOL in 1995. Still not as big of a joke as our officiating. i’m not bitter


    1. The online feed yesterday was *TERRIBLE*! I’ve watched it online every year since I started working and I’ve never had as many issues as I did yesterday. Though the in ability to change games during commercials is what really infuriates me. That. Is why I am headed to Bettis’ for the evening games.


    2. I didn’t have too much trouble with the feeds yesterday, although I don’t have anything to compare them to. I just got an upgrade on my work PC — before that, the feeds looked like slideshows to me — and CBS didn’t have the streams available for Macs until this year.


  2. If the score in the OU Georgetown game had been the opposite, and OU was getting blown out for pretty much the whole game, wouldn’t you have preferred watching the closer, more exciting game between N Iowa and UNLV? Seemed to me that they based the decision on what to show more on which games were more compelling to watch rather than geography.


    1. That rationale works as the games are coming to a conclusion and in general, I think CBS does a pretty good job of taking viewers to games that have a tight finish. My problem is in their choices for the primary game in a given market — like, say, mine. If anyone has research results that say Northern Iowa-UNLV would pull a bigger number in Pittsburgh than OU-Georgetown, I’d love to see them.


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