ESPN interview of Dave Brown V.P. of Scheduling, “games naturally spread themselves out and then you move a game here and there to make sure you have enough inventory for every weekend.” ESPNU Insider Podcast.
A fall Saturday to a college football fan is precious with memories created and renewed upon the green of the field. Yet in a recent interview on ESPN podcast Dave Brown from ESPN referred to these games as "inventory". Much as your local Wal Mart planned for Back to School early in the year by placing orders for backpacks, pencils, jean, calculators, shirts (with clever text) and junk food for bag lunches ESPN has ordered up inventory.
A Wal Mart buyer can look at last year sales, trends in the business and with a great deal of accuracy know what to order and send to each store. The exception to this rule is the fashionable and trendy items. What will be the must have frivolous item of the year? And how can we make it so the consumer buys in? In the same way ESPN orders games to fill the blanks on the master schedule and many conferences can't finish the schedule without the ESPN approval.
ESPN (Disney Sports) is no different the Wla Mart they know what will sell and how to squeeze the suppliers to get what they want. FSU v. Miami on Labor Day is an example of the manipulation for broadcast with the added benefit of allowing for loser redemption (although this “traditional game” may change in the near future). This also display via ads the next big thing to come on ESPN. On Game Day there is a script hype the current
Next time you settle in to watch your team for that make or break games or even watch casually with an outcome you don't really care about. It isn't a game, contest, or even entertainment you're consuming inventory.
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Part 2 Creating Inventory