A common debate to hear when discussing sport league revenues is how to get fans to attend games. With home viewing experiences so good, many argue that putting up with long lines, expensive refreshments and unruly fans just isn’t worth it. Why go to a NFL game and risk getting rained on or a 10 dollar beer spilled on you when you can stay in your living room with a 48 inch HD TV, surround sound and all the food you can eat?
For me, this argument does not hold much water. I love the atmosphere of live sporting events, and i don’t think watching at home will ever replace the rush of cheering with thousands of people during a big play. I don’t see how my cable provider could ever replace that. Despite my opinion, cable companies do very well marketing to viewers who want to watch sports. Direct TV’s Sunday NFL Ticket is everywhere, and, to an NFL fan, the appeal is obvious. But what about those who are not so interested in sports?
Older generations have the habit; they turn to TV for their news and entertainment. But my generation is a different beast. We have grown up on the internet, and anything we don’t need to see as it happens, we can find online. Literally the only reason I would pay for a cable subscription is to watch sports. But if i didn’t live and die with my Panthers, I wouldn’t think twice about cancelling my cable. A reality that, as my generation ages, may hit cable providers hard.
The popularity of Netflix and Hulu is a great example of the threat cable faces in the future. Watching a show live requires molding your life to a schedule you did not make. And since consuming entertainment is supposedly all about having fun, why place the stress of turning the TV on at the right time on yourself? let alone deal with commercial breaks. There is barely a reason not to watch online. If there are any commercials online they are always shorter, Game of Thrones is the only show where you have to be legitimately worried about spoilers (but staying off Facebook for a few hours is small price to pay), and, If you’re computer screen is too small, you can just plug it in to your TV. Times may be good for cable now, but they are not immune to the changing world of entertainment.