Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Opinion

October 1, 2013

JEFFREY McCALL: TV sports costs blitz consumers

Price spikes 20% higher than on other premium channels.

It’s a great time of year to be a sports fan. Football has kicked off. Baseball pennant races are going down to the wire. NASCAR’s Chase is gearing up. Sports fans can settle into their chairs with a beverage and the remote, and pass away countless hours. Hope they enjoy the experience, because it’s costing them big money.

Moderation is not a concept that appeals to most Americans, and so it is with sports television. Sports fans can’t get enough of games on the tube, and media corporations are happy to feed the dependence. The average cable television subscriber has access to more than 20 sports channels. In addition to multiple ESPN channels, there are channels for every pro sports league.

Americans pay huge dollars for this television sports gluttony. Some estimates are 40 percent of a consumer’s cable bill goes to pay for sports channels. ESPN collects more than $5.50 from every cable subscriber and expects an increase to $7 within three years. That will generate $8 billion for ESPN, and the figure doesn’t include money made from on-air commercials. There are additional charges for ESPN2, ESPNU and so on. Sports channel price increases are 20 percent higher than the increases for other channels. The costs are expensive enough for sports viewers, but outrageous for the half of all Americans not interested in sports.

Sports television is great for the mega-media corporations. Live game broadcasts are virtually DVR-proof, meaning fans watch the games as they happen. Thus, viewers can’t skip the commercials, as they often do when they view recorded sitcoms or dramas. Games take a long time and fill hours of air time, especially when considering the pre- and post-game shows. Advertisers find sports viewers are great targets for products that lend themselves to slick commercial appeals, such as beer, soda, cars, restaurants and sports equipment. The valued male viewer can be reached through sports, and women often watch sports, too. On the other hand, shows that appeal to women seldom have men watching.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion
  • Schools need kids' parents For school-age children in southern Miami County — and their parents — this is a seminal week. Classes start at Maconaquah schools on Friday.School starts for the rest of the Kokomo area next week.Before your children head back to school, ensure they

    July 29, 2014

  • TOM LoBIANCO: Pence, Bayh crowd field with questions In the 2016 political landscape, a pair of the state's political big dogs -- Republican Gov. Mike Pence and former Democratic U.S. Sen. Evan Bayh -- have potential candidates holding their breath and waiting on them. Until Pence says otherwise, he's

    July 29, 2014

  • LETTERS: No excuse letting trimmings rot at curb No excuse for letting trimmings rot at curbWe live in a recently annexed, east-side subdivision — a nice, clean, well-kept subdivision where almost all homeowners take pride in and maintain their homes and lawns.Before the annexation, we paid for our

    July 29, 2014

  • JEFFREY McCALL: All things Hillary are not news, just distractions This column has nothing to do with who should or will win the presidential election in 2016. It has nothing to do with partisan politics of any flavor. This column does, however, assess how television is oversaturating the "news" agenda with countles

    July 29, 2014

  • BRIAN HOWEY: World is rising up to meet Putin's thuggery Any illusions I had about the progressive nature of Vladimir Putin’s Russian regime quickly dissipated when I returned to my Moscow Grand Marriott room in August 2007. Upon opening the door, I was greeted with the spectacle of my papers and note pads

    July 28, 2014

  • LETTERS: Parents taking fun out of youth sports Parents taking fun out of youth sports I enjoyed reading the article, "Nation's youth sports leagues on troubling decline," by Bill Stanczykiewicz, CEO of the Indiana Youth Institute, and the last paragraph, a quote by Dr. Bill Dexter, president of t

    July 28, 2014

  • DICK WOLFSIE: A trip to end all trips My wife is planning a very exciting vacation to celebrate our 35th wedding anniversary. This was a big surprise to me. Not the vacation part, but the 35 years. I thought it was 34. Right now she is on the back porch, the patio table stacked high with

    July 28, 2014

  • WEEKLY WRAP: Legal marriages should be honored Legal marriages should be honoredAn eager and probably nervous couple stands before a minister or a judge or a county clerk and exchanges vows, accepting the legal, moral and ethical obligations of a marriage.The couple has properly obtained a marria

    July 28, 2014

  • Right-to-work unnecessary It has been a crime for Indiana employers to enter into labor contracts that require workers to pay union dues since Feb. 1, 2012 — the day then-Gov. Mitch Daniels signed legislation making the Hoosier State a “right-to-work” state.Whether Indiana ke

    July 27, 2014

  • ED VASICEK: Happy marriages do not just happen My wife, Marylu, and I met through a mutual friend. My wife had been involved with Campus Crusade at her university, where my friend, Norman, also attended. One Christmas break, Norman invited his friends from church (including me) to a party — along

    July 27, 2014

Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Obituaries
Poll