Don’t blame Trump: Sports is why sports ratings are down

I used to watch the NFL. Then I stopped. But I still sort of cared. But then after a while I didn’t care either. It become too slick for me. All the betting, and the (in my opinion) stupid fantasy leagues, and the non-stop sports radio discussing ad nauseum the week’s games and even draft picks. Too much.

I remember driving in my car a few years ago, listening to one of the 2 DC FM sports radio stations and thinking to myself, “Who has the time and energy to pay attention to this stuff?” In the end it means nothing. But caller after caller on the show I was listening to talked about how “they” were going to have a good year or a bad year and how if “we” got the right picks in the off season then maybe there was a chance for a Superbowl one day. Or something like this. And it just went on and on and on.

I turned the radio off.

Following sports has one very important use as I see it and that is that it gives people something to talk about other than things of consequence. A Trumper and a never-Trumper and a Bernie or Bust guy and a Clinton guy could all have a perfectly friendly conversation about a game etc. assuming they were all fans of the same team. And this is a very valuable thing. It’s good to have things to talk about at Thanksgiving and cookouts with the neighbors.

But this country has gone nuts with sports. As churches have emptied out more have decided to worship at the altar of pro sports. Seriously. I’m no social conservative (I am a Christian however) but some people have to attach themselves to something. A clan. A religion. A team. (All humans do it to a greater or lesser extent.) And the owners of these teams along with the industry that surrounds these teams are more than happy to exploit this tendency. In my estimation they’ve taken it too far and now they are paying some of the price.

The sports bubble seems to be deflating a bit. Between the crony deals for stadiums, the astronomical ticket prices, the constant commercial interruptions on TV, the scandals of all sorts, the moving of franchises, the whole bit, it’s all just gotten boring. As such many people are simply turning it all off.

Never take one’s position in the market for granted. The NFL (and pro sports in general) has long taken its place in the entertainment market for granted.

(From The Orange County Register)

TV viewership of sporting events has seemingly reached – at a minimum – a cyclical peak. Ratings for most major professional sports are headed in the wrong direction. And in today’s media-saturated world, this will become a challenge for an industry in which multi-billion-dollar broadcasting contracts – not ticket sales, overpriced stadium munchies or fan-gear revenues – pay most of the bills.

It’s could mean financial trouble for athletes, teams, stadium owners, sports-gear manufacturers – not to mention broadcasters locked into pricey, long-term deals with pro leagues, most notably Walt Disney Co.’s ESPN.

So-called sports media experts have suggested several reasons for the challenged popularity. These excuses range from newly energized viewership of political broadcasts (perhaps the ultimate “sport” these days); to an oversaturated market for sports content; to new media technologies. And don’t forget the growing cord-cutting generation – and not all of them are cash-poor young adults – that is quitting cable TV and traditional broadcast media for content on their mobile devices.

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