Sometimes, I wonder if TV networks ever think about their viewers.
Friday night, I fire up The Golf Channel, eager to watch replayed coverage of The Memorial. On the bottom ticker, a red-alert news flash hits the screen.
“Phil Mickelson under FBI investigation for possible insider trading, according to the Wall Street Journal….”
Okay. Wow. Crazy. Hmmm.
I have no problem with The Golf Channel running this “Breaking News” crawl every 5 minutes for the first hour or so. Maybe taper it down to an every 10 minute pop-up in hour two.
But no. The Golf Channel decides: “Let’s just run that crawl NON-STOP, even through some commercials!’
You’ve got to be kidding me. Way to ruin my enjoyment of what was going to be a great Friday night watching golf. You can say “just don’t look at it” but that’s absurd. Your eyes can’t help but get distracted by the moving text, and the bright red “Breaking News” badge.
I understand that all cable channels are whores to the “breaking news” clickbait of low-hanging fruit. Trick the viewer into stopping for just a second, while flipping through the endless sea of channels. Boost that rating point by 1/10th of a percent! By any means necessary!
But what about your customers, Golf Channel? You know, those of us who have already SEEN the Mickelson news about 1,543 times now? Do we matter? Those of us who just wanted to watch… well.. GOLF?
In the end, this story looks like it’ll be a big nothing-burger. What, is Phil Mickelson going to JAIL like Martha Stewart? Unlikely. Stewart doubled her mistake by lying to investigators.
Heck, the story as it existed on Friday night, had lawyers for each of the principals in the alleged insider trading scheme saying they had yet to even hear from the FBI or SEC.
It doesn’t mean there won’t be more to the story. It just would have been nice to watch some golf without an intrusive eyesore – one whose continual loop reminded us viewers that we were being taken utterly for granted by some idiot at the Golf Channel, who thinks he’s covering the opening hours of the Watergate scandal.