We earlier noted that a Chicago 50,000 watt radio station dropped Northern Illinois University football coverage for, horribile dictu, Illinois, despite Northern Illinois making a trip to the Orange Bowl not too long ago.

Perhaps it's a symptom of an oversaturated sports programming market, or perhaps there are gathering political forces at work.  Rush Limbaugh suggests as much.
I think the National Football League is over, just nobody knows it yet.  And there's a chance to save it.  It's not totally gone, but it's on track.  It has all the ingredients for being a target. It has all of the modern relevant ingredients the left doesn't like and sees as an opportunity to change or eliminate.
Part of his case is a John Kass column suggesting football is headed downscale, as has been the fate of boxing, the perennial status of wrestling, and mid-week horse racing. (I ask readers to imagine Churchill Downs on any day other than the first Saturday in May.)
Football is dead in America.  Even through all the chatter and cheerleading and media hype, football as an American cultural institution lies in final spasm. It's as dead as the Marlboro Man. And, if the professional game survives at all, it will be relegated to the pile of trash sports, like mixed martial arts or whatever is done in third-rate arenas with monster trucks and mud. It won't be as American as apple pie. Instead, football will become the province of people with face tattoos.
Perhaps so, although at University Diaries football may still have a place as long as it is a source of revenue.
Already – in coach buyouts alone – university football is destroying the financial foundation of many schools. Those same schools will not hesitate to pay out hundreds of millions more in personal injury claims.

The model here will be big pharma. As a corporate endeavor,pharma cheats and injures, but as long as it can afford to pay out billions every year in legal settlements and still make a big profit, it will continue to do so. Universities will hit up students for higher and higher athletic fees, and students – even more subject to these passions than alumni, it seems – will willingly give.
Perhaps so. Watch, though, the television contracts for the mid-majors. The end of Wednesday night college football is an outcome much to be desired. The nonrenewal of those ESPN contracts is likely, as well, to be a signal that the revenue is no longer there.

1 comment:

TheCrankyProfessor said...

This is really interesting - and I agree about Wednesday Night Football. Here in Upstate NY we have a LOT of weeknight Lacrosse (Hobart plays Division I lacrosse - all our other sports are D3).