Perhaps someone at the Hallmark Channel noted the proliferation of cat videos on the Internet, or possibly someone just thought felines should have equal time when it comes to faux sporting events.
For whatever reason, the 2014 Superbowl will now have a new foe fighting for eyeballs -- the Kitten Bowl.
The three hour special will air beginning at noon, Eastern Time, February 2, 2014 on the Hallmark Channel.
It will, in the network's words, feature the "world’s most adorable – and adoptable – kittens in the mother lode of cat agility competition."
It goes on to say "the special, which will be presented annually, is supported by the network’s animal welfare partner, American Humane Association, and is just one of many high-profile commitments the company has made to its evergreen Pet Project initiative. With American Humane Association, Hallmark Channel’s in-house production team will scour rescue associations and shelters searching for kitty competitors whose enduring prize will be a loving, forever home."
“Creating another programming event to reinforce Hallmark Channel’s Pet Project, our corporate pet adoption and safety initiative, enhances the profile of the plight of shelter animals in our country while providing fun, family-oriented entertainment to our viewers. We are very proud of our association with American Humane Association and their support of our work in this area,” said Bill Abbott, President & CEO, Crown Media Family Networks, home of Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movie Channel.
The network added: "The agility competition will consist of a basic obstacle course of hurdles of varying heights, A-frame Alpine Scratchers, tunnels, hoop jumps, and weave poles. Lures, like laser pointers, and toys on a string will be used to get the kittens through the course, but food will not allowed. Cat agility competitions, which are modeled after the equestrian sport of show jumping, normally include rules which state that cats must complete a course in under 270 seconds, completing each obstacle in a prescribed manner. In a typical feline agility contest, a cat would complete between six and fourteen obstacles, with winning cats completing the course in ten seconds or less. In 'Kitten Bowl,' however, the competitors are kittens and any form of cuteness is the key to the game."