Staying in Vs. Going out
If I’m a professional sport’s commissioner, I’m worried.
While ticket prices have been rising, disposable income is plummetting and TV reception and quality has risen even faster than the ticket prices.
Are we heading towards a day where the live game is not worth it any more?
If the NFL can’t reach an agreement soon, there could very well be a work stoppage in 2011. If that happens, will they lose attendance at their stadiums as the owners try to recoup the estimated 150 million dollars they would lose the next season?
We’ve already seen declining attendance figures at baseball and other sports, which has to be blamed on the economy. But I’m sure those fans are watching the game on their HD TV’s, enjoying a beer they didn’t pay 8 dollars for. How many of those fans are going to think, “I’ll catch the Mets on TV from now on.”
Already, ESPN has made it clear that they still make money on an empty arena. With preseason college basketball, there are tournaments played in literally empty gyms just so ESPN can televise these.
I think the next big dispute after the NFL won’t be between a league and it’s players, it will be between a league and its TV partner.