I had been catching KATV’s “Sports Week” on the ARSN site last year since I have to get up early for my “real” job. So, I didn’t notice that one of my favorite programs was missing, replaced by the Houston Nutt Show, this past Sunday night on Channel 7.
Jim Harris of Arkansas Sports 360 has written an article on how, during the past 9 years, Sports Week has become the bain of the university and infers that KATV GM Dale Nicholson strung David Bazzel along to keep him from bolting to do a similar show somewhere else. Nicholson is said to have told Bazzel that the show would move to Monday’s at 10:30pm due to a scheduling conflict detailed below. And as Harris says, you don’t start a football program mid season.
Bazzel’s Co-Commentator, Bruce James, had stated during the summer that he would have a limited role on the program if it were to continue due to personal reasons. Harris states that KATV was interested in having the Democrat-Gazette’s Wally Hall take his place, with James making guest appearances.
KATV said that they needed to find a new spot for Nutt’s show since the former time slot was going to be given to the new ABC NASCAR coverage. They fail to mention that Sports Week had been getting better ratings than the Nutt show at both of Nutt’s former Little Rock time slots, 4pm and 11:30pm on Sundays.
I’m purely speculating but I tend to think that Broyles basically threatened to take ARSN in house as most of the SEC schools already do, and away from KATV, during the play by play negotiations and Nicholson caved. Again, he strung Bazzel along to keep Sports Week from springing up somewhere else. It would have a hard time if it tried to pop up after a 2 year hiatus.