September 27, 2010

Sports: The DVR's Greatest Foe

I consider myself an advanced television watcher. I not only tune in to watch my favorite shows in primetime, but I often have a fully booked -- or overbooked -- lineup ahead of me each evening which must be managed carefully. When the Fall TV premiere dates are announced I take hours to plan out which shows to watch, which shows to record on my DVR and which shows to watch online via Hulu. Yes, I'm fully aware that I should probably get a hobby, but that's not the point here, people.

Like I said, I am an advanced TV watcher, and because I spend a lot of time strategizing how to fit everything in there is nothing more frustrating than when my scheduled recordings are cut off because of a football game running long. I'm sure it's just as frustrating for sports fans who record the game and come to find out that the final minutes have been cut off because for going into overtime, but I'm not a sports fan so I don't care about that.

Brook and Claire, Watermelon, Amazing RaceLast night was the premiere of season 17 of The Amazing Race and even though it was scheduled to start at 8:30pm (30 minutes later than usual) it still was pushed back because of afternoon football. Luckily, I was watching live and not banking on my DVR to record it, because I could have missed racer and home shopping host Claire get blasted in the face by a watermelon. A DVR disaster.

I have to wonder... Sales and advertising dollars aside, wouldn't you think the networks would want as many people as possible to tune into their primetime shows? On the other hand, I'm sure they don't want to have another "Heidi Game" on their hands, either.

So, the real question seems to be this: Why haven't DVRs been equipped to re-kajigger their recording schedules when shows don't start on time or are delayed? Why is it that my DVR is smart enough to know that I can't record The Amazing Race, Boardwalk Empire and Mel B: It's a Scary World (what? I have eclectic taste!) all at the same time and recalculates to look for future recordings, but can't sort itself out to extend the recording time when football pushes Andy Rooney's griping into the 8pm hour on CBS?

Yes, maybe this blog post isn't any better than a Rooney-style rant but the topic has always bothered me. Are other people experiencing this inconvenience, too, or is this just another pointless problem like those loud Sun Chips bags?

I'd love to hear your thoughts (just not when my shows are on.)