Karen SanchelliJohns Assesses the Growth of College Softball [Audio]
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The 2017 college softball season has come and gone as No. 10 Oklahoma took two straight games from No. 1 Florida to bring home their second consecutive national championship.
While the Sooners softball program added to their collection of trophies in Norman, Oklahoma, college softball saw a record number of viewers tune in to see the Gators and Sooners go at it for the national championship.
Over 1.6 million viewers tuned in either on television or on-line to watch Oklahoma claim the first of two games over Florida in Monday’s 17-inning thriller.
A veteran of the college softball scene as a former assistant coach at Alabama and a former head coach at Florida, Karen SanchelliJohns analyzed the growth of college softball from a viewership standpoint during Wednesday’s edition of The Gary Harris Show.
In addition to the ratings draw of top-tier programs like Florida and Oklahoma, Johns touched on how the heart and skill level of the two teams helped keep viewers glued in to the Women’s College World Series.
“A lot of people were talking about the heart and the grit of these two teams and they certainly both have that, but these two teams have amazing skill level, and I think that was the attraction of people, really just staying hooked on it, being willing to stay up past midnight to the 17th inning to watch Shay Knighten’s heroics, is that they are just fun to watch because they’re so good at what they do.” Johns said.
Overall, the former Alabama assistant coach also highlighted how the nature of softball also lends itself to being a natural fit for television.
“It’s definitely a fit for TV. There’s definitely that window of opportunity from a programming side. It really does fit well. It’s very attractive to the viewer because Americans want everything quick and fast.” Johns said. “Fast pitch softball brings you quick and fast all the time. There’s very little time between pitches. There’s very little time between innings and so this thing motors.”
Johns also recapped the 2017 WCWS, Oklahoma City as a host site for the WCWS and the challenges for Alabama softball going into 2018.
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