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Standing In The Way Of The Future

December 20, 2014 Leave a comment

Via Jason Snell at Six Colors, it’s becoming apparent to many that if a la carte programming is the way of the future, the math doesn’t add up for professional sports. My initial thought is… good.

It’s clear that there is a ton of dead weight in professional sports right now. People complain about athlete’s exorbitant salaries, and sometimes rightly so, but in general let’s remember that they are the reason we watch sports. Without them the whole system falls apart. Still, if demand lowers to some sort of natural plateau (without the artificial inflation of cable companies subsidizing them), eventually we’d reach some equilibrium. Player salaries would lower. The owners would either take a pay cut themselves, or sell to some other one-percenter who just wants the prestige of owning a ball team. And the teams would be forced to find ways to make the games more appealing and actually draw in enough viewers to sustain itself. 

My point is that we all have a lot more entertainment options right now. The movie and music industries are similarly being forced to question what is really necessary to sustain themselves. They’re sliming down, and that’s tough. Peoples jobs are going away, and I don’t want to diminish that. But I do think that these industries will come through stronger once they learn to pare away some of the excess and focus on what made them popular in the first place. 

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