NASA's version of the "Heidi Bowl"

Amazing that the NASA TV coverage of the FIRST championship is cut at the height of the competition: the Finals. My wife was locked-in, recording the event for me when the coverage switched to a Shuttle rendevous with the Space Station. Archival footage that probably had less viewers over its life span than this event. What can FIRST do to prevent this from happening again? Can the finals be replayed on NASA TV in their entirety?

P.S. The “Heidi Bowl” was a pro football game played almost 40 years ago before the television networks routinely extended coverage beyond the allotted time slot. As I recall, there was about a minute left in the game when the network switched to show a childrens show “Heidi”. The game had a spectacular finish that none of the fans saw live…

Happened last year, too. Perhaps FIRST can plan the Finals to fit the TV time slot a little better? If we want this to become a spectator sport, it needs to be TV-friendly.

There are many live events that extend beyond the planned broadcast time slot - sports, movie/TV awards, news. The nature of the FIRST championships make it difficult to end at a prescribed time. Elimination matches that require a 3rd game, timeouts due to robot or field damage, restarts, speeches, awards, etc. all contribute to the unpredictability. Couldn’t NASA TV just cut to their archive footage “already in progress” when the event is complete??

http://www.soap.circuitrunners.com/2006/movies/
archived webcast footage from several regionals, all 4 divisional fields, and Einstein

If FIRST ever truly wants to get Nationals (or any competition) aired on national television, they are going to have to work out how to predict their time better. Some sports do go over their time slots, but they are usually cut after a certain time as well (I’m pretty sure a station will stop airing a baseball game if it goes into the 21st inning or something ridiculous like that). From what I read with the schedule FIRST went more than an hour over their prediction, which is more than even a football game played through an entire extra overtime does.

I’ll admit though it wasn’t fun having to run to the computer and bring up the webcast before the match started.

Back in the good ol’ days, FIRST enjoyed some nice national converage of their competitions, and on none other than ESPN 2. One of my former teachers at my high school still has video tapes from the FIRST competitions in the 1990s from ESPN. Maybe I should see if he’ll let me borrow them… and make copies of them… and maybe post the videos onto Google Video… :wink:

Those years in the mid 1990s when it was aired on ESPN were also the years that FIRST’s National Championhips were held at the American Adventure pavillion in the back of EPCOT Center at Walt Disney World. The Disney company, which is the parent company of WDW, owns ESPN. So getting FIRST national coverage, and hence subliminal advertising for EPCOT, was not that hard.

Atlanta has CNN, but CNN is not really suited to host a Championship Event. As a breaking news channel they might show video clips and maybe send a reporter to the GA Dome, but they would only do short segments every hour or so, instead of steady coverage that NASA TV has [until the Finals…].

The ESPN coverage wasn’t amazing either. All the logos on robots had to be blurred out, etc, making it not very viewer friendly.

:slight_smile: the GA dome isn’t that far from CNN, which is owned by TWC (TimeWornerCable, also owning AOL.). Maybe a live webcast or a front page article on the Championships. Cingular i heard is also big in that town. Maybe a txt message reminder that can let all Cingular users check scores of their favroite team (or closest high school/team). would be nice. Maybe coke could produce special FIRST caps on all the bottles produced douring those three days. Didn’t Discovrey Channel (Canada). sponcer GTR. Maybe get the Science Channel involved, after all, if im correct, they are owned by Discovrey, (if im correct.) If ESPN can show the national Spelling Bee (is that a real sport.), why don’t they show something more exciting and something that inspires more people. Heck get ABC involved, after all, there were no NBA playoff games on that station yesterday anyways. Atlanta is a great city. But, if you want championships on a network station, like FOX or NBC… Your gona have to move it to New York.

PS: If we could simocast the feilds, ie: Archimedes on the Science Channel, Curie on Discovrey, Gallelao on NASA TV, and Newton on ESPN, with Einstin and the finals on ABC… That would be something great. That way, you would be able to limit the time gaps of some nature…

just my $.02,

(what about 4OT games in the NBA. Ive seen a game that went on 1+1/2 hour after it was suppose to end, don’t mention the post game show.)