Friday, May 05, 2006
By John McMullen
Few have noticed but I'm part of the last generation that actually enjoys"Major League Professional Sports."
Even though the mainstream media refuses to accept it, teenagers and kids alike can't stand MLB, the NBA or the NHL. And watch out football...You're next!
Already, more people aged 18-to-24 would rather watch Monday Night Raw or Ultimate Fighting on Spike TV, than a playoff game in any of the major sports, save football.
Look at these Nielsen cable ratings courtesy of Newsday:
WWE on USA: 4.05
UFC on Spike TV: 1.74
MLB on ESPN: 1.51
NBA on TNT: 1.27
NBA on ESPN: 1.07
NHL on OLN: 0.15
With young men, the numbers are even scarier:
WWE on USA: 3.70
UFC on Spike TV: 3.09
MLB on ESPN: 1.12
NBA on TNT: 1.05
NBA on ESPN: 0.97
NHL on OLN: 0.14
If you are looking farther into the future, forget about it. Kids would rather fire up their PlayStation or Xbox then toss around a pigskin.
And that's scary...At least it should be -- because it's going to be a problem for professional sports.
But, the various commissioners and the network executives they are in bed with seem to look down on young people.
I really can't blame them either...Most of our youth aren't exactly interested in exercising their intellect nowadays.
That said, these purveyors of cultural malaise will soon be in the most coveted demographic. The be-all, end-all amongst all advertisers...The 25-to-34 group with disposable income.
And then what happens?
Is osmosis going to take over?
Are they going to suddenly wake up and say, I would rather watch Kobe Bryant than Triple H or Chuck Liddell?
Are they going to say, I would rather pluck down $100 for an NHL game that get the latest version of Grand Theft Auto?
Perhaps, but I doubt it.
We are in for a major change in the sports landscape over the next 20 years.
And things don't look good for the sports we grew up with.
-You can reach John McMullen at firstname.lastname@example.org