Today starts College Basketball’s March Madness. Sixty-eight teams due battle over the next few weeks in a tournament that makes the World Cup seem puny in terms of scale, (but not pageantry or importance or anything else, mind you). Today, there are 16 games going on. The same amount will be played tomorrow.
It should be said immediately that this is college basketball. Not the NBA, not the Olympics, not anything that resembles the pinnacle of the sport. If there was a football comparison, it would probably be the U-21’s.
Yet the magnitude of the event commands a $10.8 billion contract over 4 channels. And subsequently (to make sure each game can be seen, i.e. further ad revenue) each game is streamed online. That’s right, EVERY. SINGLE. GAME.
And I’m not even going to get into the free aspect of this.
Below is a screen shot of one game. If you were to click on any of the scores up top, you are taken to that game.
If I fiddle around a bit, I can now do six different things at once. ADD, here I come!
I’m not trying to make this some ethnocentric “USA!, USA!” post. But as Rich wrote in an email to me that spawned this post, it’s absurd that this potential, this new media, is so neglected. As someone who works in nonprofit media, with a miniscule budget, video and new media is everything. Taking the same path as FIFA, UEFA, EPL, et al, would mean my firing or the organization’s bankruptcy. End of discussion.
Tell me, if given a similar opportunity, you would watch a Bournemouth game now with Lauri Dalla Valle scoring goals, right? Or an MK Dons match to check in on Keanu Marsh Brown? Or, at some other point, an FA Cup ‘gamecenter’ where you can watch all the various games occurring at the same time. Surely you would.
I know the EPL, Football League, et al are all separate entities, but it is crazy to think that in this technological age, the “best league in the world” still can’t even televise games at a certain kickoff time. Or allow highlights on its website(s)*.
Yet here, with an “amateur” sport, every single came is viewable because of the massive television contract. The same goes for college football, which recently signed a $500 million contract with ESPN for just five games, and all the other professional sports. Hell, the other day I was streaming a college lacrosse game.
My apologies if I’m rambling or talking in circles. It’s so just exasperating it’s actually really difficult to fully collect my thoughts.
So how long until the powers that be, the same that demand video technology report results within nanoseconds and under top secrecy, adopt these mechanisms, 10 years? 20 years?
*Just go to the NHL’s website. Or NASCAR. Or any other “minor” sport here that isn’t the crème de la crème here. Now go to the Premier League’s website. See a difference? The EPL doesn’t have video, anywhere.