The Murder of Sport by the Media

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Video killed the radio star and television is murdering sports.

The age of attention is over.

The NFL’s losing viewers and I can’t watch a whole game of soccer without distraction. Even my beloved Man United sends me to sleep and I never missed again in 20 years.

It’s not that I don’t care anymore; it’s that I can spend my time more valuably doing other things while keeping up with all the latest developments in real time.

I never miss a moment, if I don’t see the highlight on TV as its being replayed right after it’s happened, I get a text to my phone to tell me there’s been a goal or I see hundreds of twitter messages describing what happened in vivid detail.

Instead of wasting my time consuming a product in all its worthless build up I can see only the things that matter.

Modern sports have gone through an editorial revolution. Our interest is only maintained by scoring plays. If you’re not at the game, you’re not paying attention.

And if nothing happens I haven’t missed anything. If it does I know about it as quickly as if I were watching. No more tedious 0–0 draws or consumption of terrible games which aren’t even a spectacle.

I don’t see it live, but do I really care?

If you’re not watching did it really happen? It does when you catch the highlights.

I certainly don’t care for the nonsensical analysis at half time which equates to the expenditure of minutes I’ll never get back. Who cares what a retired former pro has to say about a passage of play that has already happened? It has zero bearing on the outcome or my interest in what is occurring.

Which strikes at the heart of the problem; over saturation.

Sport is everywhere. Gone are the days when it was played out only the most sacred of days; who cares about Thursday night football?

It’s no longer a spectacle.

Where previously our attention was focused on a single day that we could look forward to with excitement each week it has been cannibalised by a conquering empire trying to steal it all the time.

And I’m bored, I’ve had enough. It’s not just the wages and the gap this wedges between the nostalgic view that sport stars are working class heroes.

We reminisce about the good old days but it’s never true.

But it is with sport. The past was gloriously unrefined. There was dirt, ill-fitting jerseys and mistakes, but we loved it.

Now everybody’s media trained and there’s no character anymore. If there is you get chastised and fined. Don’t even dare thinking about celebrating that goal or touchdown!

I don’t resent the players. They have short careers and they should take as much as they can from a game which takes everything they have. It’s the owners exploiting the loyalty of fans and shaking the piggy bank for every last penny that sickens me.

And they’ve diluted the product to such an extent that viewership is plummeting, sport is nearly unwatchable. For no reason there has been a drastic reduction in viewership and subscription overnight.

ESPN lost 621,000 subscribers last month!

And nobody knows the reason.

But everybody does, how could they not.

The product is garbage.

The adverts, the breaks, the referees constantly getting in the way of the action and our moral consciousness being complicit in the witnessing of people ruining their future health.

This isn’t the middle ages anymore, gladiatorial spectacles and blood sports are going the way of the dinosaur.

Unless you’re the UFC and you have a compelling product that offers a more brutal alternative to boxing who’s fans have been turned off by nobody fighting anyone and world titles losing their meaning due to abundance. It’s about extremes.

And there is so much money in sport that it’s better to draw than lose.

Think about that for a second.

Managers and player salaries are so huge, prize money is so incomprehensibly large, that it’s better to play it safe than take any risks.

The worst team in the English Premier League this season will get more than the Champions from last year.

Why take the risk of being great if mediocrity, or even failure, guarantees your families future? No wonder players are signing their first contact and retiring. The players aren’t stupid and neither are the fans. Take the money and run.

Then the media made redzone, who are the idiots now?

By giving the fans what they wanted we realised how awful broadcasts truly are.

You’re telling me I can see only scoring plays and no adverts? But why will companies continue to pay you for commercials? Why will I take any other channels…?

In pursuing the consumers uninterrupted attentions they’ve ruined sport.

Yet I still can’t even watch any game I want on my smartphone at 3pm on a Saturday afternoon.

Unless I pirate a stream.

Sport has always been characterised by barriers. Media companies have eroded them all and in doing so have detrimentally effected the core product. But they erect them in the way of consumer behaviour forcing them to pursue elicit means of consumption.

I want to pay for the things I want to watch, oh well, but now they can’t go back because nobody would watch.

Like Napster, streaming revolutionised sport. Like CD’s and singles Cable Television tried to defend their monopoly.

Now I never miss a thing but don’t even have to see it.

CEO / Founder / Coach @FirstbaseHQ Empowering people to work in their lives not live at work ✌️✌

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