Saturday, February 9, 2013

TV: The Dysfunctional World of Sports Broadcasting

If data-driven web-series are the future of television, then the horse-and-buggy is probably sports broadcasting. The content is every bit as desirable now as it was in years past, but the model is bizarre. For example, because of rising licensing costs, people who don't watch sports have to pay for it on their TVs:
Time Warner Cable subscribers in Southern California will eventually see their monthly bills increase thanks to an impending $7 billion deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers, believed to be the most lucrative for any sports team in history. DirecTV, the country’s most popular satellite service, and Verizon FiOS have started adding a $2 to $3 monthly surcharge in markets like New York and Los Angeles to pay for regional sports networks.
And on the flip side, if I want to watch anything online, I typically can in a legal format -- except sports, because I don't pay $75/year for ESPN or other sports networks on my television.