Roller Derby Trumps The Donald in Weekend TV Ratings

derby 9.jpg
Take that, SNL

When KOFY-TV proudly announced several months ago that roller derby was returning to the little screen, we professed some skepticism about how much attention the game's scheduled time slot -- from noon to 1 p.m. on Saturdays -- would generate. The time has come for us and other doubters to eat their hats, press cards, and all, because the ratings from derby's inaugural television run on March 14 are in. It turns out the San Francisco Bay Bombers game that aired that afternoon blew its competition out of the water.

The Bay Bombers topped the ratings charts that day for adult viewers ages 18 to 34, according to Nielsen Media Research. Among the vanquished were popular programs including Saturday Night Live, Law & Order, and The Apprentice. Bombers General Manager Jim Fitzpatrick says the ratings augur well for derby's resurgence. "We smoked even the network stuff," Fitzpatrick said. "This is the time for roller derby. It started during the (1930s) Depression."

Maybe it is the depressed, economically or otherwise, who find themselves couch-bound before the TV on a Saturday afternoon in the Bay Area. Or it could simply be the undeniable attractiveness of watching men and women knock the hell out of each other on roller skates. In either case, fans will soon have a chance to venture beyond the living room to catch some roller derby, when the team returns to Kezar Pavilion for a home game on April 25. For those who can't wait, another match will be broadcast on television April 18.

Photo courtesy of Jim Fitzpatrick.

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