Just thought I’d mentioned an interested bit I have been following in a local Baltimore Sun blog about sports and money (or lack of money). Sun television critic David Zurawik has noted the huge increase in ratings for primetime football this year - both for NBC’s Sunday Night Football (Football Night in America) and ESPN’s Monday Night Football. Today he also reported that TBS had huge ratings for the MLB playoffs.
His theory as laid out early in the football season is that a bad economy makes for great ratings for sports. Read it here. It kind of makes sense. He compares it to the boom in movie-going during the Great Depression. During our hardships today, we turn to sports. I can’t think of any other good reason these programs, which have tanked in recent years, are flourishing now.
So, what do you think? Are you watching more Sunday Night Football and Monday Night Football? Are you tuning in to the MLB playoffs? Do you think your viewership (or lack thereof) has anything to do with the economy?
Speaking to my experiences alone - I have found myself watching the primetime games more regularly than in the past, and I’m not sure why. In fact, for every good game (Monday’s Jets-Dolphins) there has been at least one bad primetime game. And yet I’m still watching. In past years, I just wouldn’t care.
You can also read Mr. Zurawik’s follow-up on TBS here.