Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Sports TV and Boomers

Today in the news there was a story that Rogers (a cable company in Canada) had secured a 12yr deal on the rights for the NHL (Ice Hockey) broadcasts here.

This is interesting for two reasons: 

First, it's interesting as the practice of cord-cutting (giving up cable TV as a service) is gaining momentum.  Merits of the model vs "a la carte" TV aside, it's important to remember this is a baby boomer concept.

The second interesting point is the duration.  From a demographics standpoint hardcore sports TV is mostly watched in two places - bars and baby boomers houses.  This 12 yr deal means that by the time the deal expires, the latter portion of those baby boomers are statistically likely to be expiring too.  

It's well known that young people are turning away from sports due to the high cost of tickets to live games, over-saturation of live tv and the fact that they can get the scores on social media in near-live timeframes for free.

Putting the two together, when I cut the cord in our house, I remember the Rogers "customer retention" guy giving the usual "we will discount our charges if you stay" routine and then when that failed, pulling out the "but you need sports!" card.  That failed too.

In some ways, this is the swan song for sports TV as we know it.  Just think in the UK how Sky wouldn't pay the required bid for the soccer... It's not worth the high prices when you're audience is dying...

The bit I'm now interested in is how the sports TV is going to reinvent itself in the 12 yrs from now.  It should be unrecognizable when it's finished.