Thursday, December 08, 2016

Profit, Intention, and Quality - SPORTS EDITION!

And another thing!

Isn't this exactly what happened to sports that makes die-hard sports fans so ambivalent about their favorite sports? When the NFL was a football league, they produced great football and they happened to make a ton of money doing it. Now that they're a football-themed profit machine, the product is non-compelling and the fans are all thinking, "I wish I knew how to quit you!"

I weened myself of football about five years ago, but the same thing is true of my replacement drug sport, soccer. Every soccer fan loves soccer and every soccer fan hates FIFA. And it's because FIFA went from the group that runs soccer to a soccer-themed money-laundering front organization.

Baseball jumped the shark BEFORE they cancelled the World Series; it was the three-divisions-with-a-wild-card move that made it so sub-500 teams can make the postseason. Later came the tied all-star game, the idea that the all-star game should affect the World Series, and the expanded playoff round that tells fans, "You were suckers to pay attention to any of the regular season games."

Sports league's whose intention becomes profit generation see a decline in quality. "But A Random Stranger, baseball metrics have never been better! Clayton Kershaw and Mike Trout are all-time greats!" I'm talking about fan satisfaction after viewing. Fans are increasingly frustrated with the business decisions of sports leagues because they are just that: business decisions. The "Monday Night Football" post-scoring-play commercial rate (touchdown, commercial break, extra point, commercial break, kick-off, commercial break) is not done to make the product better. Starting World Series games after 8 p.m. on school nights is a great way to make money now and make sure no adults 20 years from now care about baseball. I would guess that fan satisfaction after viewing is tanking, and most sports leagues don't care because their viewers are emotionally invested. No one with a team-logo tattoo is ever going to stop watching, right? But how many people are going to get team-logo tattoos in the future?

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