Orlando-based WKMG-CBS GM Skip Valet has issued a statement that the station "did NOT apologize for broadcasting the Jaguars' game on Sunday," according to a Facebook post by Nikki Kimbleton of WJXT-CBS. Valet implored viewers not to "believe the fictitious nonsense you read on the lazy blogs." Valet: "We didn't apologize for carrying the Jaguars. The CBS Broadcast team on the Dolphins' game repeatedly promoted the NY-Denver game. Our viewers were confused and angry. We clarified why we were broadcasting the Jaguars' game and apologized to viewers who may have been confused by the constant 'Manning Bowl,' promotion" (FACEBOOK.com, 9/17). PRO FOOTBALL TALK's Mike Florio writes the message that was seen on the screen Sunday "didn’t make clear whether folks were upset because they possibly wouldn’t see the Jaguars game, or because they were being led to believe they possibly wouldn’t have to see the Jaguars game." It did not seem "like an effort to make folks who feared they’d have to watch Broncos-Giants realize that they’d get to watch the Jaguars," but instead an "effort to make folks who wanted to watch Broncos-Giants understand why they couldn’t" (PROFOOTBALLTALK.com, 9/17). In Orlando, Roger Simmons reports WKMG, with Orlando-Daytona Beach serving as the Jaguars' secondary market, is mandated by the NFL to show "all of CBS' Jaguars away games -- regardless of what other marquee matchup the rest of the nation may watch.” The Jaguars have seven more road games this season. Sunday's Jaguars-Raiders game drew an “estimated 115,500 viewers in Central Florida,” while WKMG’s 1:00pm ET broadcast of Dolphins-Colts had “more than double that audience with 244,000 viewers” (ORLANDOSENTINEL.com, 9/16).
NOT A GOOD LOOK: ESPN's Bomani Jones said it is "never a good look when the TV station ... has to put on the screen, 'We're showing this Jaguars game because they're making us'" ("Highly Questionable," ESPN2, 9/16). CBSSN's Allie LaForce noted Broncos-Giants, the game "everybody wanted to see," aired the same time Jaguars-Raiders did and added "no one in Orlando is a Jags fan.” CBSSN’s Doug Gottlieb added, “If you have a team and they're playing, regardless of whatever other game is on in that conference, that’s the only game you get. Poor people in Oakland, they have to watch Raider games. Same thing in Jacksonville. This is a league policy.” LaForce: “Just get the 'Sunday Ticket' and then you won’t have to ever complain again” (“Lead Off,” CBSSN, 9/16).
HAIL MARY PLAY? In Jacksonville, Vito Stellino notes a "small group of Tim Tebow fans held a tailgate party at EverBank Field Monday imploring the Jaguars” to sign the free agent QB. The gathering, which organizers hope will “become a weekly event," started at 3:16pm ET “in honor of the John 3:16 biblical verse that Tebow used to paint in his eyeblack” when he played in college (FLORIDA TIMES-UNION, 9/17). ESPN's Dan Le Batard said of the Jaguars signing Tebow, "What would you rather do: Lose and not have any people there or lose and have Tim Tebow as your quarterback and have people there? Because they're going to lose either way. So why not sell some tickets?" ("Highly Questionable," ESPN2, 9/16). ESPN's Max Kellerman said the Jaguars "don't hit rock bottom" until they sign Tebow and "make him their quarterback." Kellerman said even if Tebow went .500 as a starter, "you're selling tickets, everyone's happy and you're better than you were." ESPN's Marcellus Wiley: "How about just become relevant again" ("SportsNation," ESPN2, 9/16). In Jacksonville, Paris Moulden writes, “The Jaguars should bring him in (provided he even wants to come) and let the chips fall where they may. Then they can send this message to fans who vow to buy tickets if he's here: ‘Put up or shut up’” (FLORIDA TIMES-UNION, 9/17).