Friday, December 16, 2011

Sports Socialism

According to a fun little piece in the Gray Lady today, the average American television cable or satellite subscriber pays about $100 a year for sports programming... whether they watch it or not.

Which, of course, speaks to two very different points:

1) A solid majority of the American populace are subsidizing activities they do not approve of with their entertainment purchase, or to make things more clear, being robbed each and every day, most clearly by ESPN, and

2) When, not if, things go to an a la carte basis, everyone who watches sports is going to pay roughly twice as much as they currently do for cable and satellite.

And when that day happens... we'll pay it. Maybe we'll give up good beer for weak, or a restaurant trip a month, or movies in the theater or a half dozen other things, but sports programming won't be one of them. At least, not for the hardcore folks.

Now, there's also this.

When you read how television networks have paid some ungodly number for the rights to broadcast the NFL... that's eventually coming from you. When you see the whiz bang graphics, sets and remote broadcasts from the World Wide Lemur, that's coming from you. When you watch anything but game, you enable all of this all the more, because those ratings get wrapped into the same fat cigar of burned cash.

So, if you'd like your cable bill to stay sane after the inevitable a la carte price surge, because non-sports viewing cable subscriber is well and truly ready to just go to the Internet (in the guise of Netflix, Hulu, and a load of other providers) for their entertainment needs...

Turn off anything that isn't game. Turn off games that you are just watching in the background. Walk away from the yammer shows, the replay replays, the pregame hype, all of it. And slowly, slowly, slowly start to put the toothpaste back in the tube and starve the beast.

Before, well, it starves you.

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