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@adad500 You bet it's easy to despise referees...showboats who have no accountability to anyone, athletic failures in their own right thinking they're the show, and they're killing the sport of basketball, at all levels, right now. There's no sport with more blown calls (though the NFL tries to be #1 in that too), and if you want to make college basketball a whole lot better in a hurry, a clean out of guys like this would be a great place to start.
3 days, 6 hours ago on Dan Dakich rightfully destroys Ted Valentine
This is more of a loss for ESPN, than it is a win for the fans. My local team's game was never blacked out off of cable on Saturdays, and it just sounds like some more random games for FS1. MLB is following the NBA cable-only road to obscurity. A legitimate, season-long game of the week is what every truly successful team sport has, and MLB needs.
4 days, 18 hours ago on Everyone wins with Fox's new MLB contract
Because casual viewers are still on an NFL-hangover, NASCAR's biggest event has really good timing, but NASCAR is a "big-event" sport only at this point. ESPN's abrupt exit shows that there's no week-to-week interest. Fox & NBC are just desperate to fill the hours on sports channels they've thrown lots of money at.
As far as the NBA is concerned, there's no interest here either...there maybe some interest in the playoffs, especially the finals, but this may be because of some carryover interest among casual fans after the NCAA tournament.
1 week, 2 days ago on Daytona 500 rain delay outdraws NBA
Two other reasons missed in the article & other comments:
1. Geography: the U.S. is a big country with lots of wide-open rural areas. Pro major & minor league sports, by necessity and historically, are based in urban areas. For those who don't live in urban areas, what better sports branding is there than "The University of Nebraska", meaning Omaha all the way down to Podunk. College sports have always, and continue, to provide a quality sports product to a natural fan base, especially for successful teams in states with lots of rural area. This, historically then, creates #2:
2. Incumbency: the land-grant institutions are older than any pro sport except MLB (the minor leagues didn't gain traction until the 1920's). So generations of fans have placed their loyalty to their respective college teams, decades before many major or minor league sports teams marketed to these fans.
3 weeks, 3 days ago on Why College Sports Prevail Over Minor Leagues: Brands Matter
One of the best entries I've seen on a sports blog in a long time...another reason why ESPN & sports TV, in general, over the long-term, is circling the drain. People only have the time and the inclination to follow their local and regional teams, plus a very small number of leagues, overall. ESPN and the others' business model has become the following: build up certain conferences, teams, leagues, etc., that they have enormous contracts with, totally trash everything else ("Only losers still watch the Big 10!"), including destroying the conference system, then wonder why their ratings are decreasing and people are cutting their cable. I know a lot of college basketball fans who have only Netflix & an over-the-air antenna, and just go to the sports bar or lodge whenever their favorite team is on ESPN.
1 month, 3 weeks ago on Fueling the toxicity of college football fandom is a science
Sorry, but the Sports Rights Bubble is real...ask the NFL about how their pitch of the Thursday Night package to Netflix went...Netflix said, "No thanks, we make our money on all of the cord cutters leaving their inflated cable bills behind."
It was sad to hear the speaker's bald face lies, such as "People have been talking about a sports rights bubble since the first millionaire athlete." Not really. A cursory Google search shows that the first mention on the Internet was on September 5th, 2008, in the midst of the Wall Street financial crisis. The Forbes article was entitled "Europe's Coming Soccer Bubble." (http://www.forbes.com/2008/09/04/soccer-labor-europe-biz-sports-cx_pm_0905notes.html)
Between cord cutters and those ending their cable subs because they were foreclosed on, the ongoing global depression will strike the sports world, despite Mr. Ourand's giggling.
2 months, 3 weeks ago on AA Podcast #71 - John Ourand, Sports Business Journal
More NFL bloviating...they threatened to put the Super Bowl on Pay-Per-View about 10 years ago, until Congress stepped in. Aereo has won court case after court case regarding the legality of its service, and the NFL would lose if they tried to go to court. And, ask Baseball how their ratings have performed with their cable-only playoff games.
The trend is clear, people are tired of paying cable bills, which includes payments to local, "free" stations. It would be stupid for the NFL to get a large number of people to contact their Congressmen about moving the games of the only sport people still care about, to cable, which might backfire on the industry, and possibly cementing the legality of cheaper competitors, like Aereo.
3 months, 2 weeks ago on MLB, NFL trying to block Aereo
The issue is that the small number of viewers who are interested in a traditional highlights show, being generally interested in a specific sport, have already migrated over to shows, primarily, on the MLB Network, the NFL Network, or the NHL Network (ESPN's not hurting for NBA viewers, cramming a Barkley interview into MNF last night). Also, Olbermann may be picking off highlights viewers with the Keithlights segment.
4 months, 1 week ago on Don't expect The Lights back on NBCSN any time soon
Of course Netflix doesn't want sports, and it stinks of desperation by the NFL for them to say that Netflix was interested in their Thursday night albatross. Netflix is the service for the ever growing number of people who are tired of paying ever increasing cable bills for overbloated sports right fees. It will interesting to see when the cable & satellite industry will have to start offering sports-less packages, on a large scale, to respond to Netflix & to keep the customer base intact, and what that will do to the sports industry as a result.
4 months, 2 weeks ago on Netflix says no to live sports
I have always had a liking for Olbermann, even though on MSNBC, he tended to lecture too much. I hope that he'll be able to get into some more controversial topics. Intelligent talk (something sorely missing from FS1's new show), plus highlights would be a winning combination in the long run. The problem is that ESPN, obviously struggling right now, is too much "in bed" with the NFL, college football, and the NBA, to allow anything to be reported on subjectively, by anyone, much less Olbermann.
If I were Olbermann, I would play a waiting game, bide my time, while using a reporting style similar to what Patrick does on his radio show (comedy, but occasionally serious). Over time, become an asset that ESPN can't do without, as the "screaming" style of the other shows implodes, then name my price. You have to take a long-term approach right now.
6 months, 1 week ago on Keith Olbermann's brand could prove problematic over time for ESPN
Wow! I don't know what the story is here. Is it that ESPN is hurting much worse than we realize? Has Disney set profit targets that are forcing the WWL to become a mere shadow of its former self? Given ESPN's recent double-downs on the NFL & college football, and the coming upheaval in the cable industry, will ESPN look like CNN in ten years, a former giant, now weakling?
Or is it that NASCAR is declining faster than the simple ratings numbers suggest? Are there data to which we don't have access, such as the prohibitive costs of covering the sport, making it non-profitable, or that the sport's viewership isn't as lucrative as suggested in the story?
Either way, I'll be watching to see who blinks first.
6 months, 1 week ago on ESPN & Turner want out of NASCAR a year early?
An NRL-version of this post would be interesting. Fox, similarly, takes the straight reporting approach. Channel 9, on the other hand, desperately needs some new blood, in fact, senile might be an appropriate description. Ray Warren, who does remind me of Keith Jackson (and should have retired at the same time), will rant about some Channel 9 show he doesn't like, or Twitter, or just about anything else for a good 3 or 4 possessions. He also occasionally sleepwalks through the action, if neither team gets into the red zone for several possessions. Peter Sterling, the Tim McCarver of Australia, is barely hanging on to sanity, and not that well. Ray Hadley is also showing his age, like Vin Scully, except without Scully's skill.
7 months, 2 weeks ago on The Aussie Rules Football Announcers Guide
The post is correct in that you don't bring the 800-pound gorilla in
the industry down with one shot, but it can die of a thousand cuts. The
apparent growth for NFLN, MLBN, NHLN, and NBCSN shows that core sports
fans are looking for highlights for their favorite sports, not just the
fluff that might be bringing in small numbers of casual, young viewers.
Even Goldman Sachs recently downgraded their opinion of Disney stock,
based on ESPN's troubles. So, there's definitely something to the
changes in sports media.
7 months, 2 weeks ago on Fox Sports 1 faces the unenviable pressure of high expectations
@morganwick Butt hurt NBA-lover?
7 months, 3 weeks ago on ESPN says low ratings are a "rare aberration"
There's been a long-term trend, of people, in the current economic climate, of simply not having the time to follow and spend money on all of the major sports. People pick a sport or two, and only follow that. Go to NFLN or MLBN or NBCSN, watch briefly, and then go to bed. The all-encompassing jock-culture of ESPN doesn't fit well with the reality of most sports fans' lives.
The other problem is that they've bet the farm on a few sports and the big coastal markets, to the exclusion of others. The reality of the NBA is that it's a celebrity-driven league. It's like the Kardashians for young men; it's just something to tweet about. And once the interest is gone (it happens to all celebrities), or they're not dominating the playoff bracket, everybody forgets about it. Oh, and they've totally reamed college sports.
I do think that ESPN and the entertainment industry in general are facing huge headwinds, especially given the overall economy. In addition to the sports rights bubble mentioned, the cable/satellite industry is moving slowly, but inexorably to a la carte model. It's going to be tough for the average guy to justify spending $30/month on Skip Bayless, Stephen A. Smith, & yet another lousy Alabama, Duke, Lakers, or Yankees game. ESPN, and these sports channel in general, may never see their money back on some of these long-term deals.
9 months, 2 weeks ago on ESPN reportedly laying off hundreds of employees