My wife is among the many dedicated fans of figure skating in the Milwaukee area who were disappointed when the Journal Sentinel’s Channel Four nearly totally obliterated an NBS Sports figure-skating competition with its coverage of Sunday’s snow storm.
After showing only four skaters, Channel Four chose to replace coverage of the two-hour show with “Storm Team 4” on the job, its helicopters hovering over sections of highways, both where traffic was moving steadily and of accident machines. From then on Channel Four neglected returning to NBC’s coverage of figure-skating and chose instead to repeat showing the same storm scenes again and again.
“That wouldn’t have happened if it was Packers’ game,” my wife intuitively said.
In another part of the house I watched the Packers game, barely aware of the storm coverage from the Channel Six crew. To be sure, their weather folks gave storm up-dates by tacking them onto commercial breaks, and except in one case, viewers missed little of the game. (Even that minor intrusion that caused fans to miss a crucial turnover brought about complaints, as reported by Sports columnist Bob Wolfley in the Dec. 9 pages of the Journal Sentinel.) http://www.jsonline.com/blogs/sports/234975801.html
Why this contrast? Obviously, viewership of figure skating on television is far less than that of our national obsession in pro football and that might explain part of Channel Four’s reasoning in so callously overriding the wishes of the fans.
But even with that, the storm was not much when compared to what’s to be expected in December in Wisconsin and certainly didn’t require such repetitious wall-to-wall coverage. The only motivation that makes sense is that Channel Four must receive advertising revenue from its weather coverage. Why else would the Channel bombard its viewers with such coverage for a three-inch snow? Kenneth A. Germanson, Dec. 11,2013