by Honolulu Mother
This Daily Beast article argues that a sports bubble has grown up fueled by the cable bundle model, but that the cable-cutting trend is going to pop that bubble because not enough people will want to pay $35 for a stand-alone ESPN subscription.
We’ve seen both effects locally, with college students complaining about hikes in student fees to support a football team that relatively few students go to see play, and unenthusiastic fan response to the high ticket prices and even-higher-priced cable tv package for watching those games. (The stadium’s location 10+ miles away from the campus probably doesn’t help students feel connected to the team either.) At the same time, one interesting sidenote in the recent Mizzou protests was the light it shed on the relative power of the president versus the football coach within the institution.
Public money for a new stadium, usually on the premise that it will bolster economic development, is a frequent municipal bone of contention. And on the international level, the increasing cost of hosting the Olympics, and the increasing reluctance of countries to bid to do so, has led to speculation about whether future games will be hosted only by autocracies.
I enjoy watching the occasional game, but I don’t have strong sports loyalties — I’m the type of viewer who’ll watch the Superbowl and some World Cup games and favorite Olympic sports, but doesn’t tune in regularly or follow a team. From my perspective, I’m inclined to agree that there is something of a sports bubble going in several areas, but I don’t see it popping immediately. The cable business model is the one I see as likely to change first. I think it would take a mass student defection to lower-spending Division II and III schools for the big college sports schools to rethink the role of athletics at their institutions, and I don’t think the supply of strongmen interested in playing host to international games is going to dry up in the near future.
Totebaggers, what do you think? Is there a sports bubble in cable, college sports, or elsewhere? And if so, do you think it’s due to burst?