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What if ESPN failed? What's the sporting landscape like today?

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by BYH, Feb 12, 2007.

  1. leo1

    leo1 Active Member

    i think the online presence was what really put espn over the top in terms of bringing down the rest of the sports and media world.

    espn didn't invent the internet. it just learned to maximize it from the beginning, which helped change people's expectations for journalism and sports content - everything from simmons being considered a 'journalist' to demanding video highlights we can all watch from the cubicle.

    all this would've come along with or without espn because it's the medium, not the message provider that changed the landscape. (just as someone posted above -- cheap and widely available cable TV was crucial to this discussion).
  2. Captain_Kirk

    Captain_Kirk Well-Known Member

    As others have said, if not them, then someone else would have come along to do all sports, all the time.

    But someone else may not have embraced the same programming. In that regard, there are sports that definitely would not have the same level of interest today without ESPN. As mentioned earlier, the X Games is a great example. You could make an argument that are now winter Olympic events directly a result of ESPN. Poker is another 'sport' that owes its very existence to ESPN.

    What's interesting now is the level of power ESPN has today, in a true monopolistic sense. People tend to forget that back in the 80s, the live programming was basically, anything non-major sports related, my inference there being that the fledgling network couldn't pony up the dollars to pay the rights fees. Then, I think they broke into the big time with college basketball and NHL hockey, and over time they've added to where they have every major sport/event, almost to the exclusion of anyone else.

    Now, they don't just cover events; they create them and the hype that surrounds them. Consider the NASCAR advertising they're doing right now. I can't tell you the number of ads I've seen just over the past couple days that will undoubtedly increase the rock star status of the Nextel drivers and probably make household names of the Busch guys as well. The power ESPN can flex today is awesome, although perhaps unhealthy for sport overall.
  3. BTExpress

    BTExpress Well-Known Member

    That's because the jerseys didn't exist, not necessarily because there wasn't a demand for them.

    As a kid I desperately wanted replica jerseys of my favorite teams. I wanted a Jerry West jersey, a Hank Aaron jersey, a Johnny Unitas jersey. But they simply didn't exist. I had to take a yellow shirt and artistically --- to the best of my abilities --- create the correct lettering and numbering so that I could "be" West in my backyard basketball game.
  4. jagtrader

    jagtrader Active Member

    The Internet is what led to the proliferation of ESPN and its personalities. It's also what made the network unwatchable for me.
  5. cranberry

    cranberry Well-Known Member

    We used to make our own jerseys all the time in the early '70s. At first, with a marker on an old T-shirt but eventually our local sporting goods store was set up for iron-on lettering and numbering of shirts. I made myself a sweet Dr. J - Nets jersey.
  6. Gold

    Gold Active Member

    Interesting topic. And for all of ESPN's shortcomings, it is probably a good thing it did succeed because it has increased the amount of sports available on television and we have things like the baseball package on Directv where I can live in southern California and watch almost every game the Yankees play.

    If ESPN had not succeeded, look at Fox Sports. I think that would have gone on anyway and I think you would have seen something like Fox doing a national sportscast and a couple of other national cable programs. When you think of it, ESPN runs SportsCenter for what seems like 10 hours a day. There might have been a couple of other regional networks trying to go national, and you might have seen something like the NFL Network earlier.
  7. Dude

    Dude Active Member

    The world would know a whole lot less about Sean Salisbury's schlong.
  8. Yawn

    Yawn New Member

    SI or the Sporting News would have had new life in the form of the alternative network to ESPN.

    Otherwise, to say what if ESPN isn't around is to wonder what life would be like if kids stopped belieiving in Santa by next Dec. 25.
  9. shotglass

    shotglass Guest

    What if ESPN failed? What's the sporting landscape like today?

    Charred earth.

    Charred, brown earth. ;D
  10. RokSki

    RokSki New Member

    No m'fing Berman or Boo-Yah. That would be great.
  11. LiveStrong

    LiveStrong Active Member

    I can't imagine a world where we wouldn't have "David Aldridge is reporting..." jokes to make.
  12. Armchair_QB

    Armchair_QB Well-Known Member

    They'd be "Nick Charles is reporting..." jokes. And Fred Hickman would still be coked up and doing sports for CNN.
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