Super Bowl Vs. The Oscars: For TV Ratings, It Doesn't Matter Who's Playing

Who has the better match-up in big upcoming TV events? The Bears versus the Colts --  or Scorsese versus Eastwood?

The only one that hasn't won either the Super Bowl or an Oscar is Martin Scorsese.  But where's the real drama?

History tells us television ratings for the Super Bowl haven't really changed much over the years, typically delivering around a 40 rating and 60 share. The weird thing is that it doesn't really matter much who is playing, nor whether anyone is showing his or her nipple during half time. The ratings don't change, all of which means people are bored with football -- or breasts -- in early February.

But the Oscar event -- as the second big-rated TV show of the year -- typically falls in line with the popularity of specific movies. Give us the largest grossing movie of all time, "Titanic," and you'll get some titanic ratings --- somewhere north of 55 million viewers. Give us"Chicago" -- ranked 116in U.S. box-office revenues -- and you get 33 million viewers.



You would think this Super Bowl-Oscar ratings formula would be the other way around.

The NFL contest is fought on the field, live. But the Oscar results are based on the making and selling of movies, events that have already been held. The Oscar's TV ratings shouldn't be a mystery. At best, with the Oscars, we are really only waiting for the line judge to watch the replay to decide whether or not Scorsese scored a touchdown.

It's not that there isn't any pre-game built drama on the NFL side.  The Colts' Peyton Manning tried for years to get into the big game. He'll only get honored if he can make some decisive drives.

The new, previously unseen Super Bowl commercials don't really make a dent, either.  That could be because no one really know what's coming, or, perhaps in contrast to what we are told, really care.  Honestly, I'm too busy talking to people at parties, looking for any remaining brownies, crudités, or a cold Sam Adams -- but not necessarily in that order.

My suggestion is to play the Super Bowl beforehand and run three-and-a-half hours of nonstop commercials. At the end of that long day of messaging, just tell us who won, with a crawl message at the bottom of the screen.

For the Oscars, it's easier. Have directors compete with each other, by making a short five-minute movie in three-and-a-half hours. Then have Simon Cowell do the judging, who will offer a thumbs up in conjunction with a good review. For a pan, just have him reveal his nipple.

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