I like Downton Abbey a lot and football a little, so it worked out well for me that Downton was on television last night even though it overlapped with the Super Bowl.
But I found it interesting that Downton takes a week’s hiatus during the Academy Awards. Apparently Dowager fans are also aficionados of the Oscars. (Perhaps it is because they are into watching fashion in both shows?)
The lesson I take from this is to know your audience. There was likely little overlap between the Super Bowl crowd and the Abbey viewers, so both could continue opposed. But if viewership was to be impacted against the Academy Awards, it was wise to delay a week.
You don’t have to rigidly follow a schedule without regard to external events. Be attuned to what your target market is paying attention to, and adjust accordingly. Sometimes you want to punt and other times you can ad lib. Be willing to do either.