Editorial: Good Luck Avoiding Spoilers

Matt Amodio’s loss—whenever that may be—is going to be leaked in advance. And you’re very likely not going to be able to avoid it.

Unfortunately, that’s the nature of North American syndicated television.

If someone wants Matt’s loss to leak, it will leak. In order for the 200-plus local stations that air Jeopardy! on a daily basis to be able to air the episode (at times varying from noon to 10:30 PM Eastern, depending on where you live in North America), that episode needs to be distributed to the stations in advance. Once it goes out to the stations, hundreds of people have the ability to then leak the episode. And all it takes is one of them to do so.

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This is how the video of Ken Jennings’ defeat got out, and this is how the video of James Holzhauer’s defeat got out: someone working at a TV station somewhere in the United States leaked a copy onto the Internet in advance. And once that copy gets onto the Internet, you can’t un-ring the bell: the Internet is going to know. (Places like r/Jeopardy might be able to staunch the bleeding, but their moderators have been given a nearly impossible task here. Even if they required moderator approval on every new post on the subreddit, the chances of them keeping spoilers out of individual comments will be next to impossible.)

Even on the day of his defeat, once the episode airs in Tyler-Longview, TX, Jackson, TN, or Meridian, MS (the three noon ET markets), you’re not going to be able to avoid the outcome: as soon as the episode has aired, it becomes newsworthy if the press decides it newsworthy, and you won’t be able to avoid the massive number of spoilers that will come out as publications put out their stories on the event.

Moreover, the hype about “tonight being the night that the streak ends” leads to an increase in viewership, especially live viewership, for the show itself. It’s generally shown to be a net positive for the show.

I know that a lot of people will be very angry at being spoiled when Matt does lose. But it’s unavoidable—and angry viewers will need to deal with it.


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4 Comments on "Editorial: Good Luck Avoiding Spoilers"

  1. If an affiliate leaks it, while disappointing, I won’t be furious.

    If Jeopardy themselves leak it, after all of the inane nonsense they’ve put us through over the past year, I will be extremely unimpressed.

  2. Mary Jane Stockton | October 7, 2021 at 9:22 am | Reply

    In a way I find that encouraging because, since I haven’t heard any rumours yet, I can look forward to Matt still winning for awhile. I was/am a huge Ken fan, and when it was revealed that he would lose the following week, I made sure I was home every night. I remember leaving my hairdresser with my hair still dripping wet to make sure I got in by 7:30.

  3. Marty Cunningham | October 11, 2021 at 1:14 pm | Reply

    People caution there are spoilers in the new Bond film, too, and some have already leaked that. In fact, I think I knew before the film even premiered in London, a week before it opened here.

    No spoiler lasts forever. And for a show like this, most people know the spoilers in “Citizen Kane” and “The Empire Strikes Back” and “The Crying Game” and “The Usual Suspects” even if they have never seen those films.

  4. I was traveling in Utah, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming and South Dakota and couldn’t figure out time and channel for Jeopardy every night. I used your site to see if Matt won every night. He did. Came home to find him losing on Monday. So sad.

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