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Are some sports in trouble?

Let’s be honest. One of the reasons that MLB, The NBA, and the NBA all wrapped up or snuck in 2020 seasons during COVID-19 is for the money. 

But another reason undoubtedly is so that people don’t forget about their products.

The American attention span is wicked short these days and there is a real risk that each league could become somewhat forgotten if they stay away too long. 

We may already be seeing examples of fans apathy. Honestly, did you pay attention to the Red Sox this summer? If you answer yes you are in the minority. Sox TV ratings were absolutely dismal. NESN games were down 50 to 60%. 

Now granted the Sox might be a unique example because they traded away Mookie Betts and David Price around spring training. And they were historically bad. The Red Sox are an institution and with the right managerial hiring and the signing of a few good players, the seats at Fenway will be filled once again I’m sure. 

Personally I’ve had very little interest in the NBA this summer. I think it probably was smart they tried to play but I buy what Scottie Pippen is selling when he calls the NBA Playoffs “pick up basketball.”

Fans don’t seem to be putting much value on a title this year. Game #1 between Lebron’s Lakers and the Heat did under 4 million viewers. No NBA Finals game had ever done much lower than 8 million viewers. Game 6 in 1998 featuring MJ and the Bulls had 38 million viewers. 

Locally, the next person who comes up to me and says that they miss University of Maine football this fall will be the first. I do have a handful of friends who have season tickets and I suspect they do miss the tailgating and the games. But overall the general public seems unfazed by the absence of Black Bear football. 

It’ll be interesting to see what kind of excitement they can generate in the spring. Although I believe they can get some decent crowds on some nice spring days because we are all very desperate for live entertainment.

How will professional leagues bounce back? Remains to be seen. But I have a sense that perhaps some teams, and sports, are just not missed that much.


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