How To Improve Nearly Every Professional Sports League

Let's face it, modern sporting events are different than they were 50 years ago. I'm not talking about rule changes or the level the athletes are performing at, be it from better training and conditioning or some artificial enhancements. No, I'm talking about the fans experience, and what they give up without even realizing it.

Sports on TV

What makes sports so accessible, and draws a majority of the revenue now, is also slowly destroying the games we love. I'm talking about television. Television brought the games home, so now everyone that couldn't attend the game could enjoy the spectacle without having to settle for radio play-by-play or next day newspaper recaps. Not that there's anything wrong with those two, but you are either getting a one-sided biased view of the action, or something so watered down in an effort to be unbiased you lose some of the subtleties that true fans enjoy.

Commercial breaks

Televisions biggest detriment? The "TV timeout". These unwarranted stoppages can, and have changed the outcome of many games. They stop a team’s momentum, allow a struggling team a chance to regain their composure and deprive the fans in attendance of the near-constant sporting entertainment they paid to witness. For years networks could bully the leagues into complying with this, as advertising is the only source of revenue for said network, and the league could not get the exposure offered without them. But now things are different. Extended cable services and internet access are now the norm. Plus the fact that the big our leagues, the NFL, MLB, NBA, and NHL each have their own network or networks. There is no reason why any number of games, either on a weekly or daily basis, cannot be offered "without commercial interruption". NASCAR does not make the entire field pit during a commercial break, they simply allow their fans at home options to follow one or more of their favorite drivers via pay-per-view or Internet broadcast services. Sure those come at a price, but it's obviously working.

All-Star games

Another aspect of the big four leagues that has become antiquated is the concept of the All-Star game. All-Star games arose as a way each league showcasing the best they had to offer for a national audience that was deprived of seeing many of the stars outside their own team’s conference. Nowadays there are more and more games that get national coverage. There are league highlights available on local or national newscasts, even newscasts dedicated solely to sporting events from one or more leagues several times a day. All this had made the All-Star game an almost boring and pointless event. It deprives the fans of seeing their own teams that they are passionate about and offers up a meaning game filled with people that are now available for viewing at almost every fan’s leisure.

A new age...

I think these leagues need to wake up and realize the power has shifted to their side. Don't let television networks bully you into changing the game just for rating's sake, take advantage of the other forms of media now available to you, and make them beg to keep you on their channels. And please, get rid of these All-Star game breaks. For my reasons listed above, they serve you no purpose and you are better off without them. If anything, keep the skill competitions, such as the home run derby or slam dunk challenge, and make them part of your championship game experience.

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  1. I never thought about sports in this way before but you're totally right! Commercials completely detract from the immersion into the game and they are unwelcomed time outs. I like your suggestion, to have the networks beg for your patronage by getting what you want through another avenue. Thanks for linking with Welcome Home Wednesday.

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