In the last few years the growth of sports broadcasting jobs is undeniable, new networks launching and online powerhouses creating new types of content has led to a real uptick in job availability. But according to WorkinSports.com Director of Content Brian Clapp, there is a downside to all this new growth.
Listen to this short video to see if you agree with his take and leave your comments below – we’d love to hear your opinion.
Video Transcript for “Sports Broadcasting vs. Sports Journalism – Who Wins?”
Brian Clapp: We are currently in the golden era of sports broadcasting, think about it, there are new sports networks popping up about every 4-6 months it seems like – Fox Sports 1, NBC Sports Network, CBS Sports Network, teams, leagues, conferences – all of them are stating their own networks and curating their own content in order to control the outgoing message and the media sales efforts. This leads to more sports broadcasting jobs, which can only be seen as a good thing.
There is one major reason they are doing this – it’s the power of live sports events and broadcast rights. The DVR has changed the business model for all of broadcast television – think about it – a sitcom airs during prime time they charge advertising dollars and bring in the money. With the DVR, more and more people watch on their own time and fast-forward through the commercials, advertisers know their ad isn’t getting the same exposure as it used to, so they are paying less for time during these shows.
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Live sports are different; people watch live and sit through commercials because they don’t want to miss what is happening in that moment. They want to communicate on social media, send out the cool tweet about something that just happened and be right on the cutting edge of things and they want to be able to talk about it at work the next day.
Broadcasting live sports events has actually become a more powerful revenue generator over the last ten years. Let’s use the Pac-12 as an example, they own all these broadcast rights, and rather than sell them off to a platform like ESPN, they launched their own network sell their own advertising, hold the power and control the content and messaging.
It’s a great time to work in sports broadcasting because the jobs are plentiful and there is no sign of it slowing down.
All of these networks are willing to pay big money for the event rights, and it’s become crucial to survival in the marketplace – the downside though is that true journalism is taking a back seat.
Lets use the pac-12 network as an example again, they don’t broadcast games all day long, they have what is called shoulder programming – pre and post game shows, news shows, studio stuff . All of the content on these shows has to run through a filter of ‘does this serve the pac-12’ I mena they are the ones signing the check – so people working for the pac-12 network are serving the serving the conference, instead of the audience and consumer from a news gathering standpoint.
There isn’t going to be anyone out there digging for stories and uncovering investigative stories a these league/conference/team originated networks. The Pac-12 Network staff isn’t going to be out there beating the bushes for an expose on steroids on campus, just like the YES network wasn’t the first on the scene for Alex Rodriguez’s PED issues, and the NFL network isn’t leading the charge on concussion research. Yes these networks will cover the news, but in a reactive sense, not a proactive sense. They aren’t out there digging, they are reporting after someone else has already uncovered it.
So you have to ask yourself the question, can sports broadcasting and sports journalism co-exist in this business model?
I wonder – and I wonder what you think too so let us know in the comments below