Opinion: Pace of Play isn’t the Problem

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Which is wasting more time? Actual game play or antiquated commercial systems.

In-game ads! (photo courtesy of Worldsoccertalk.com)

As a sports fan, the one term I am tired of hearing about is pace of play. Pretty much every major league in the United States outside of MLS has addressed what each league considers to be their respective leagues problem with the length a game takes for completion.

Baseball, a sport long regarded as America’s Pastime, is likely going to undergo major changes in order to speed the game up. From a pitch clock to limiting mound visits, multiple different solutions are all rumored to be under consideration.

I have one request for these leagues. STOP!

Stop instituting new rules in order to shave 3 or 4 minutes off a game. You want to speed up games, here is an idea, cut out commercial time. Now I know that isn’t going to be a popular opinion for those thinking about the bottom line, but fear not, I have a solution.

Advertisers continue to have more noise to fight through in order to reach the American consumer, yet traditional TV advertising remains in a pretty standard format.

What do I, a 24-year-old sports fan, do during a commercial break? Fire up the Twitter machine! I am not paying attention to your 30 second spot, in fact I probably spend more time making fun of your ad than I do acting on whatever it is you are selling.

Want to know how to get in front of me when I am engaged? Make it part of the screen during the action. This has several different benefits,

  1. I’m paying attention
  2. We can cut out the dead time that commercial breaks cause.

I recently made the trip to Atlanta to watch the Cowboys play the Falcons (Mercedes-Benz Stadium is unreal, but that’s a different story) and one thing I noticed throughout the game is how much time teams are standing on the field waiting for commercial break to be over. If we cut the amount of spots open each break in half, I’m willing to bet we save more than any pitch clock in baseball will.

Leagues and Television companies need to join the modern age and move past an antiquated advertising system.

Sorry, you are going to have to be more creative. It’s almost 2018 and for some reason television advertising is stuck in the 1980’s.

“But consumers will be mad!”

Let me tell you, if I could watch certain advertisements less and have a few minutes of on-screen advertising, I truly wouldn’t be upset.

Sure people will complain, but like most things, people will get over it and it will become normal.

I know many smart people are working on this issue in each league, but stop messing with the games, and look at what goes on around the game to save those precious 5 minutes.

What are your thoughts? @ me on Twitter: @AustinTWeaver

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