So, I’ve fully bit into DISQUS and really love it. Consequently I’ve been participating in some great discussions online.
Here’s another comment on @Bijan’s blog asking “Will the future of TV start with sports?”
Great point about sports advertising, but like Bijan said, the DVR has done a lot of damage here. Last spring, I watched the Celtics in the NBA playoffs solely on DVR. Avoiding tons of ads, but I also had to turn off my phone/Internet to avoid spoilers.
Now, I don’t even own a TV, I’ve just got an iMac (on which the US Open experience is awesome). If the NBA could duplicate (and improve) such a robust viewing experience as this, then I’d be glued to the screen. And of course, same for the NHL and NFL.
I think it’s really about customization. Allow consumers to make choices about their content. Let me watch exactly what I want to watch. If you build a channel for consumers to do this, they will.
Bijan made a point above about piracy/P2P. It’s just like the music industry. People ‘stole’ lots of music, until there was the iTunes store, Amazon, Amie Street etc. Now that there’s a channel to consume legally, there’s a business there. (Just noticed Kirklove’s comment like this above. Total agreement here.)
The SEC almost made a serious mistake in banning social media at games. They have since fixed their mistake and clarified their terms, however, I think they need to go a step further and figure out a way to embrace a group of people (customers) who are so in love with their games (products) that they want to tell everyone about them.
I suppose my overall point is, there is a ton of sports media out there. All of it has value to someone, somewhere. The people in control of this media need to figure out the ways in which they can create value for their fans/customers, and in turn make a tremendous profit as well.
And where is ESPN during all of this? I think ESPN has the potential to become more of a portal or a switcher for the online content. They will act as the great curators of the sports world and people will use ESPN as a gateway… unless someone beats them to it.
Finally, the one thing that sucks about sports video online? The quality is still catching up. This US Open video is great, but from a technical standpoint tennis (and baseball for that matter) are low movement sports making streaming video quality much easier. The good news? This will only continue improving. But for this reason, the NHL will continue to lag behind the other major sports, so I’ll be waiting for the Bruins via iMac a bit longer…
And to actually answer Bijan’s original question. Yes. The future of TV will most definitely start with sports. It is the most engaging content over time, attracting fans year in and year out (I know, I’m a Red Sox fan who remembers what it was like before 2004).