There are a few things that are looking wobbly in the days leading up to Super Bowl XLII–cough cough, Tom Brady’s ankle, cough cough–and programmers on cable networks are betting that the ratings power of Tom Petty is one of them. The Hollywood Reporter is saying that networks are in a “counterprogramming frenzy” thanks to the allegedly low starpower of the veteran rocker, although weirdly enough they’re trying to go for the bro demo that I’d think would like classic rock, scheduling eating contests judged by former Giant Sean Landeta (Spike TV), the premiere of a reality series about Deion Sanders (Oxygen, go figure!), and a kitten halftime show for the Puppy Bowl. OK, that last one probably crosses more demographic lines than its competitors. While it’s pretty obvious that the halftime show’s programmers have been all about skewing conservative since the Super Bowl that ruined Janet Jackson’s career, I don’t know if Tom Petty is as weak a target as the folks at Spike and Oxygen suspect, his live shows do pretty well as far as ticket sales go, and I’d bet that his cross-demographic name recognition is higher than that of any top-20 musician today who hasn’t appeared as a featured performer on a TV show. At the very least, I’ll be tuning in to see if he brings out a special guest or two:
Is Tom Petty A Big Enough Draw For Super Bowl Audiences?
January 30th, 2008 // 28 Comments