I have a feeling Bob Costas might be requesting airtime on NBC real soon.
You may recall his soliloquy on gun control during halftime of the Eagles/Cowboys game on “Sunday Night Football” in the wake of the Jovan Belcher murder-suicide.
Since then, another murder-suicide took place – one that claimed the life of over two dozen people, including twenty children – at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.
Newtown is also where the National Shooting Sports Foundation just happens to be based. And they’re the brains behind something called the “SHOT Show,” an annual gun exhibit that takes place in Las Vegas. This year’s show is scheduled to unload in Sin City next week.
As part of the “SHOT Show” is its “New Product Center,” which is “the showcase for innovative, new equipment being introduced to the hunting, shooting, outdoors and law-enforcement markets.” That description comes from the original press release, dated October 9, that NBC Sports Network would once again be the sponsor of the exhibit’s “New Product Center.”
Then Sandy Hook happened.
And now, exactly four weeks after the horrific killings on December 14, a spokesman for NBC confirms that they will indeed remain a “SHOT Show” sponsor, just as they have been for “several years,” according to Greg Hughes, who added that the deal is “part of our commitment to our outdoor programming block.”
That the entity running the “SHOT Show” is headquartered in Newtown, Connecticut is a coincidence.
But I don’t care if the National Shooting Sports Foundation is based in Newdale, Idaho, it’s simply not good business, especially if you’re a media conglomerate, to be involved with the financial funding of a gun show, as gun control continues to be a target (no pun intended) of debate.
I’ve got an idea, NBC Sports Network: Forget about your “commitment” to a block of programming that routinely gets beaten like a drum in the ratings, especially during football season. How about concentrating on new “commitments,” like that new deal to carry F1 races.
If it means ditching Hank Parker and Babe Winkelman for Tony Little and Anthony Robbins, then we’ll all be better off for it.
That’s right: It would be in NBCSN’s best interest to drop the hunting programming in favor of infomercials. They may not win their time periods, but NBC will get paid to air them – and if they’re putting together a sports cable network to battle ESPN, there can never be enough cash to go around.
That decision would be more wise than funneling sponsorship money into a gun show presented by a gun organization based in Newtown, Connecticut in the wake of a mass shooting there.
Hear that? It’s Bob Costas having a cow.