For the first time since 2005, the networks will not have Tim Tebow to trumpet during the college football season.
Love him or hate him, though, the former Florida quarterback drove discussion at every level of the media and thus, in theory at least, had an impact on television ratings.
How big of an impact? The man responsible for CBS’ SEC coverage seems to think the answer to that question is a big one.
Speaking to the Birmingham News, CBS Sports executive vice president of programming Mike Aresco was asked what effect a Tebow-less SEC would have on ratings. You know the stories of Tebow and the circumcision of Filipino boys? Aresco believes something else will get lopped off because of Tebow — viewers.
“It is going to be different. You don’t have (Tim) Tebow now,” Aresco said. “That’s something you notice immediately. Some of the numbers Tebow was responsible for. You can’t underestimate star power in television. Even if we do well in ratings, maybe they’ll be slightly lower. I guess it’s a question of expectations. You want people to have reasonable expectations. Obviously, the very beginning of the season will go a long way toward what kind of season we’ll have.”
I understand the “power” of Tebow, but could one player leaving realistically be expected to impact the ratings so much that it causes them to drop?
I’m quite certain Mr. Aresco knows knows more about television than I, but that just seems, on the surface, to be an utterly asinine assumption and giving way more credit to one individual than is deserved. The SEC was wildly successful long before Tebow came on the scene; they’ll be the same long after he’s been gone.
Then again, the man can make foreskin disappear with the snip of his fingers…