NEWS BLOG (WSAU) Everyone knows that our attention-spans are getting shorter. This isn’t just a younger-generation phenomenon. In this high-speed-internet driven on-demand world, we tend not to focus on one thing for very long.
While watching the Super Bowl, I realized the game is entirely too long. It pushes the boundaries of my attention span, and I’m an older and generally-patient person. Even without the partial black-out and the 34-minute delay that followed, the biggest event in sports doesn’t hold my interest for four-hours. I'm sure that there are very few younger fans who can sit still and watch the entire game.
A regular NFL game has 6 commercial breaks in each quarter, and a break between each quarter. They last 90-seconds, plus a 15-second network promo if it’s a national game. The Super Bowl puts 8 commercial breaks per quarter at two-and-a-half minutes each. A ‘normal’ NFL halftime is 12-minutes; Super Bowl halftime runs 38-minutes (shortened from 42-minutes last year).
Obviously the Super Bowl transcends sports. It’s an entertainment and advertising extravaganza. It is also a cash-cow – there’s no four hour block of broadcasting that makes more money.
But the game itself is altered. The quality of play is not as good when there are more and longer stoppages. It’s impossible for there to be “game flow” within the Super Bowl broadcast format.
There’s nothing like the Super Bowl. But the football is better during the preceding three weeks of playoff games.