An ABC affiliate in the U.S. capital made the controversial choice to air a Washington Commanders preseason game instead of the Bachelorette season 20 finale on Monday, August 21, leading viewers to express anger and confusion via social media.
“Feels misogynist for @ABCNetwork to stream an irrelevant preseason NFL game over the Bachelorette finale & prevent anyone without cable in DC from watching a notoriously ‘girlie’ show,” tweeted one annoyed viewer, while another said her friends’ watch party was in “crisis mode.”
Another Bachelorette fan questioned the decision to show an NFL game that isn’t even part of the regular season. “So mad! Preseason football who tf cares,” the Twitter user wrote. “Everyone else could see the Bachelorette except the dc area??”
A message from ABC affiliate WJLA directed Bachelorette viewers to watch the episode on a channel called Charge, which is free but available only to cable subscribers. Fans using internet-based streaming services like YouTubeTV and Hulu + Live TV were out of luck.
The programming swap also attracted the attention of The New York Times, which published an interview with one fan who said she was “pretty frustrated” that she couldn’t watch the finale live. “Everyone I know who was watching it will have already seen it, for the most part, so I’ll just kind of be in the dark for 24 hours,” she told the newspaper. “I won’t get to join in on this rare experience: watching live TV at the same time as everyone else.”
Disappointed viewers didn’t even get the satisfaction of a Commanders loss — the team beat the Baltimore Ravens 29-28.
Fans who don’t live in D.C. found out that Charity, 27, gave her final rose to Dotun Olubeko after a heart-wrenching breakup with Joey Graziadei, who was later announced as the next Bachelor.
“You have made me feel alive. You’ve made me believe in love again. You’ve made me feel so valued and so seen,” Charity told Dotun, 30, on the beach in Fiji. “And so, Dotun, when I stand here in this moment, I want a forever future with you. I see you as my husband. I see you as my future. I see it so clearly. I don’t have any doubts. I don’t question it.”
Dotun subsequently got down on one knee and popped the question, telling Charity “the love that we have is perfect.”
During the After the Final Rose special on Monday, Charity revealed that the duo are hopeful their engagement won’t last too long. “[The wedding] will be sooner rather than later. We don’t have a set date or anything,” she explained. “We’re just enjoying the season of life.”