Since it was announced that the Bayou Classic broadcast is moving to cable on the NBC Sports Network, away from the non-cable NBC network, speculation has run rampant on social media regarding the event’s likely demise.
Dottie Belletto, CEO of the New Orleans Convention Company, Inc. (NOCCI), the firm responsible for managing the Bayou Classic, appeared on the Jaguar Journal with host Reggie Flood (ESPN Baton Rouge, 104.5), to put those concerns to rest.
Belletto indicated the switch was necessary to increase TV revenue for both schools (Grambling and Southern) and to improve the game’s attendance by moving to a later kickoff time of 4pm.
“We’re going to hit 81.5 million households on cable,” Belletto said during the interview. “A lot of the sports networks are now going to cable and [this game] is going to be streamed as well, which has never happened before.”
“The second big reason for doing this is that we could never change our [game] time,” said Belletto when speaking on the difficulty of NBC unwilling to move the game to a later time slot on the non-cable network. “We’ve looked at studies and we’ve talked to the NFL, and we’ve talked to Superdome officials, [and confirmed] that the later start times do draw more people. And that’s what this is all about.”
Listen to the entire interview, courtesy the Jaguar Journal.