We get it, sports channels have to fill airtime. Networks are replaying old games, rereleasing old productions, and giving us the latest updates on the sports world in a pandemic.
Networks are also using this time to unload hours of content no one ever needed to see, but will soon.
Starting tomorrow at 6 a.m., the MLB Network will air 64 consecutive hours of Derek Jeter programming. You can say it’s a little much.
Ken Burns documented the entire history of baseball in 18 and a half hours. But we’ll get Jeter in 64.
I’m not opposed to this idea because I loathe Jeter.
(Sorry, this is not a hit piece on the captain.)
I grew up in New York. I’m a Yankee fan. I argued against my editors who think Jeter is overrated. But I have no interest in this marathon television event.
I understand the MLB Network wants to honor Jeter by commemorating the 25th anniversary of his debut. This was also supposed to be the year Jeter would enter the Hall of Fame. But the pandemic had other plans. The captain will have to wait another year to travel to Cooperstown.
Instead of 64 hours of programming, including 13 game replays, MLB Network could have synthesized hours of footage into a shorter production. What about a simple two-hour tribute to Jeter? A retrospective documentary? Or even a zoom call with Jorge Posada? Any of these options would make for a better viewing experience than having MLB Network on for two and a half days.
While we’re on the subject. Here’s a note to ESPN, MLB Network, and all other sports broadcasters thinking now is a good time for extended programming - more hours of proposed coverage is not as thrilling as you may think.
If there was a baseball season, there would’ve been a Jeter tribute on YES Network. Probably a “Jeter night” at Yankee Stadium. But that’s it.
If networks were not starved for content, this “tribute” and game footage would remain kept deep in the MLB Network archives. The footage wouldn’t even be saved for a rain delay.
It’s not just the sports networks that are struggling without sports. Sports bloggers, too, have to find things to write about. So, at least I can tip my cap to Jeter for that.
In the meantime, have fun binging 64 hours of Jeter. I doubt you’ll make it through a game.