Sports for sale: television, money, and the fans
Although sports broadcasting has never been more popular with the fans, the advent of cable TV and the proliferation of televised sporting events has greatly eroded each network's share of revenue in this billion-dollar industry. This decline in profits has hit the networks hard. Indeed, with the bottom-line mentality that currently rules the major networks, it may well be that by the year 2000 most major sports will be available only on cable TV. In the end, it is the fan who will pay the bill.
In this colorful, fact-filled account of televised sports, David Klatell and Norman Marcus explore this and numerous other connections between sports, television, money, and the fans, covering the emergence of major cable sports networks, the dramatic growth of corporate marketing campaigns, and the vast impact that TV has had on sports, both for good and ill. As the authors demonstrate, money is a major consideration, so much so that television executives will manipulate sporting events for the network's benefit--alpine skiing events, for example, have been taped and reedited so that the winning skier went down the slope last, keeping the viewer around until the last commericial--and even manufacture events (including such "trash sports" as Battle of the Network Stars) to compete against real events signed by other networks. The authors provide an extensive chapter on the Olympics, describing the bidding wars between the major networks, the behind-the-scenes logistics, and the technical brilliance of the broadcasts; they review the careers of major media figures such as Roone Arledge and Howard Cosell; and discuss the evolution of some of the more popular and innovative shows.
An eye-opening account of the impact of the bottom-line on sports, this vividly written book will delight sports fans and anyone curious about how television looks behind the scenes.
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