Television and mass media have actively been changing many platforms, and the world of sports is no exception. That is both good and bad, depending on how one wants to look at it. On the one hand, television has helped make sports more popular (and powerful) than ever. On the other hand, sports are now primarily focused on how they are perceived through television.
Television has made it easier for people to gain access to sports. They no longer have to buy expensive tickets or travel to a stadium. Instead, they can watch their favorite teams from the comfort of their own home. That’s the positive side of this relationship. There are other positives as well, and along with them are some negatives.
The NFL saw a huge spike in both popularity and sales once they began televising their games. Just look at the wild popularity campaign that is the Super Bowl, and it’s easy to see how far things have come.
Better yet, the NFL set it up so that the revenue from this would be distributed among the teams. This was on top of ticket and merch sales. This was great because it made sure that all teams got paid while encouraging that competitive levels stayed relatively high. It wasn’t long before other sports leagues started employing the NFL’s tactics.
Opportunity To Tell A Story
With sports worldwide becoming televised, it was only a matter of time before voiceovers became a thing. With that introduction came the opportunity to tell a story. Suddenly announcers could discuss the athlete on the screen, giving the audience a chance to hear a more personal tale from their favorites.
With all of the positives, there are a few natural negatives to balance out televised sports’ wonders. For example, the Minor Leagues were hit hard. Before games were available on television, many people would head to a Minor League game (as frequently all they had the opportunity to see). Now that fans could watch whatever game they wanted, the revenue for the Minor Leagues went down.
Ken Reed of HuffPost ran a complete piece on the downsides that came with televised sports. The article pointed out that television has been given all of the control. This includes the ability to control and modify the rules of the games themselves.
Others will argue that the whole process has corrupted sports. Athletes now have a chance to make a name on their own – outside of their team. This, in turn, can have ruinous effects on sportsmanship and many other subtler elements of the game.
Adding Show Business To Sports
Once the camera got involved, it was inevitable that inside scopes, behind-the-scenes footage, all of the other parts of ‘show business’ would soon follow. It was AB’s Roone Arledge who kicked things off. He wanted to make ABC’s football features stand out, so he provided an insider’s look.
You can’t talk about televised games without discussing the Olympic Games. The Olympics have brought about some of the most iconic moments in televised sports history – as well as theatrics galore.
The first Olympics to ever make the air was the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin, Germany. However, they were only broadcast to a limited number of televisions, and none of them were international.
Once the Olympics’ broadcasting took off, it quickly became an auction house for all the major stations. Everybody wanted to be the one to air them, as the viewer turnout rate was through the roof.