Football on TV was a "sure thing" . . . until now.

This article is about the NFL, not college football. Still, it speaks to possible “football over-exposure” on TV and is therefore relevant, IMO.

A good read. … li=BBnbfcL

This will be interesting to watch going forward. I expect that the business model will have to be re-worked but that the NFL and the college game will remain profitable. It may be that they have to understand the changing ways people consume the product…much like the recording industry and cable tv has had to do.

It was said years ago as TVs started turning into huge HD screens that people would begin to stop going to games and stay home to watch but stadiums keep getting bigger.

I 'm reminded as a kid, that when TV was being popularized, the opinion was that the movie theaters would suffer. Never happened. To some of us football/sports are our Gods. Have a son-in-law who feels his political party is his God. This stuff is important to us folks. How we receive the signal is changing, but the profit margin will always be there for someone.

Yes . . . and, no.

In the SEC, where there is an all-out facilities arms race - yes, we do continue to see increases at all the venues.

But there is another movement afoot that you see more and more of - and I think this is the real future of the sports venue. Places like TCU and Baylor are modifying or building new stadiums that are “middle sized” (40-50K), but optimized for creature comforts, such as chair-back seats, multiple food options, great video boards and . . . most importantly of all . . . LOTS of suites. This was also the approach taken by Oklahoma State when they did a massive overhaul of their Football stadium a few years ago.

As a fan, it is exhilarating to be a part of 80-100K screaming fans. But from a revenue standpoint, 50K fans - if 12-15K of them are in suites - can be as profitable as 80K with 4K in suites.

I was at TCU’s renovated stadium for the first time in September. I had been there for many games prior to the upgrades, and it was unrecognizable - a totally different experience than my prior trips. And, I’ve got to say, one of the better fan experiences I’ve had in person at a game. Bigger isn’t always better when it comes to football stadiums. I’ve not been to Knoxville. I know it seats 100K. But I also know people complain about how cramped it is, how old and dilapidated, etc. Give me TCU’s environment over that any day, as a fan.

Good article. I think part of the problem is so much entertainment on TV & the internet period. I agree there’s too much football. Saturation of anything makes it less appealing. When Christmas starts in October it isn’t special. When the NBA runs from Oct-June it isn’t special. When there are 50-jillion bowls they’re not special. Even the 12 game college season–plus conf championship games & playoff–is probably too long. Just too much going on.

NFL stadiums are not getting bigger, with the notable exception of that monument to Jerry Jones’ ego in Arlington. NFL teams are settling in with 65,000-70,000 seats almost universally, and a lot of them can only get to 70K with temporary seating (and only because the NFL requires 70K capacity to host a Super Bowl).

Some college stadiums continue to get bigger, true. But that’s an SEC/Big Ten phenomenon. Nobody in the other leagues has done any major expansions lately. When Stanford reworked their stadium, they cut capacity by 35,000. Arizona State got rid of 15,000 seats a few years ago. Washington also cut capacity by 2500 when they renovated Husky Stadium in 2013.

The same argument was used to keep sports off TV in the 1950s. In fact, that’s why the NCAA limited teams to no more than two broadcasts per year until the 1984 Supreme Court ruling busted up the monopoly. Obviously declining attendance was never a byproduct of TV.

The bigger threat I see to attendance moving forward is the increasing cost of tickets, seat royalties, etc. It just so happens that it has coincided with every game being on TV.

Not surprising. The Pac-12 always will struggle with attendance because most universities are located in or near pro markets. There is too much competition for the entertainment dollar.

When AZState built 75,000 seats, they were the only game in town in Phoenix – and then the Cards were their tenant for the first few years. Once UoP Stadium was completed and the Cards moved, there was no longer any need for 75K. UW expanded to 72,000+ in 1987, after the Seahawks arrived (and the Hawks played at Husky Stadium as well when CenturyLink Field was under construction), but they decided to go with more premium seats in the current configuration.

I believe part of the issue is that Nielsen ratings have not adequately changed their metrics and gathering methods to accurately reflect the viewing habits of those who have ‘cut the cord’ and mobile device end-users.

Traditionally, Nielsen randomly selects television viewers and captures what each television in the house is viewing at all times. These metrics are used primarily in “all major US markets” and subsequently in “many local markets”. They still do this to determine television viewership (who and how many is watching what).

However, they do not measure mobile devices in these homes. Instead, they use census-style data from third parties. Services such as SlingTV can only be watched from a single device and most would rather have that setup on a device that they can take with them anywhere and still plug into or connect to a SMART TV to use on a larger screen, not strictly a stationary television.

There is a vast difference in collecting primary data (traditional television) and relying on self-reported data through a third party (mobile devices). One is very reliable and the other has many points of error in data collection.

I think we may be seeing a greater disparity in data collection and reporting than is actually occurring due to decreased viewership.

That is a great point. I don’t recall for sure what ticket prices were when I was a kid, but I think they were about $15 in 1980. If someone knows better, let me know. My folks had 6 tickets. They gave, I think, $500 to the foundation. Assume 7 home games (that wasn’t always the case) that is $15 x 6 x 7 ($630) + $500 = $1,130. My handy inflation calculator says that is $3,310 in today’s money. Per seat, per game, it would be right at $27 a ticket, $80 in today’s money. They were good, not great, seats (row 9 or 10, 20 yard line). I don’t know what that would cost today. I THINK it would be a LOT more. Does anyone know what those 6 tickets would cost today?

$80 is high for me (I wouldn’t need 6 tickets, 2 most games would work for me), but I would spring for $160 a game for a few games (paid more than that for the game in Little Rock this year, for seats that were not nearly as good as the ones my folks had back in the day), but I don’t think I could get those seats for $80 a pop.

I couldn’t figure out why the St. Louis Cardinals built a smaller Busch stadium 10 years ago, until I went to a game there. Yes, it only holds 40 something thousand, but the number of suits is HIGH, the experience is much better than old Busch. This year, for the first time, I sprung for tickets in one of the suits, they included food and drinks. The suit was “sweet.” I can’t do that every year, but I will do it again!

I haven’t read the article yet (going to) but one thing that I think sports has going for it is the number of people actually watching the commercials. I love “The Big Bang Theory” (for example) but I rarely if ever watch it “live”, I DVR it and fast forward through the commercials. By its nature, more people are going to watch sports “live” than other shows. I do DVR games and go back and watch them (therefore missing the commercials) but the vast majority of the time I watch sports “live” (hence with commercials). Again, of all the advertisers who have paid CBS to put ads on “The Big Bang Theory” in the last how many ever years, I have watched maybe 1% of their ads. Not so for sports. Probably have sat though (not saying I watched) 90% of the paid ads on sports games I have watched.

I understand TV execs like sports ads for the very reasons you state. Few people want to wait to get the results of a game they’re interested in, so there’s no pausing the action to later fast-forward through the ads. However, one problem we all have with sports these days is that games are so much longer due to longer & longer commercial breaks. A few years ago a football game took 3 hours at the most to play. Many took less. Now because of TV timeouts & 5-min ads scattered through the game, 3.5 hours or more is common. That alone makes viewing harder.