We must be thankful for the myriad of options to consume sports content, including various mobile apps, streaming, cable networks and podcasts.
If I had the amount of sports content offered today as a kid, I would’ve flunked out of school. I used my Chandler’s more for teams’ schedules than homework assignments.
We can follow our teams through numerous resources anywhere on any device. We can interact with fellow fans anywhere on any device. And, best of all, we can watch any game anywhere on any device.
It’s a sweet table that’s always refilled, a bottomless bucket of buttery popcorn. It’s a dream come true!
It’s also overwhelming.
If you listed all the stuff available in the sports-media marketplace, you could fill an old Sears catalog. And this oversaturation isn’t limited to sports. Media research firm Parks Associates said there are more than 300 direct-to-consumer streaming services in the United States. Who can watch all that?
Back when cable was king — which wasn’t that long ago — many customers wished to have an a la carte option to avoid paying for what they didn’t watch. Now they do, but they still might need a combination of services to be satisfied. Those services add up in cost and eventually sort of resemble . . . cable.
I haven’t cut the cord yet, and I have no plans to. That’s not to say I’m against Virtual Multichannel Video Programming Distributors (vMVPDs) — that’s the nerd name for streaming services. I just prefer the navigational ease and comprehensive content that cable provides.
Believe me, I subscribe to plenty of streamers: Prime Video, ESPN+, MLB.TV, Netflix. They all satisfy a sports fix, but they’re appointment viewing. I have to go find them. On cable, the content finds me. A game or show appears while I’m channel surfing, and I become engaged in something I otherwise wouldn’t be.
So while it’s great to have “optionality,” as the honchos call it, and while I revel in the sports-content machines that churn out audio, video and written works, I’m still happy to have my old, reliable box. Coaxial cable entered my life in the mid-1980s, and it has kept me connected to the games I hold dear. You can cut your cord if you like. I prefer to splice mine.
Cable is still here, and for that, I give thanks.
Here are some other aspects of sports media for which I’m thankful:
I remember the first time I saw a score bug in an NFL game. Fox introduced it in 1994, its first year owning the NFC package. I recall not liking the shape of the graphic because the teams’ scores didn’t line up (my OCD at work). It didn’t even include down and distance. But it was awesome.
It was a foreign concept to football fans. Maybe that’s because it came from a foreigner, former Fox Sports chief David Hill, an Australian. He said he received death threats after debuting the “FoxBox,” but today you won’t find a game broadcast without a score …read more
Source:: Chicago Sun Times
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