The State of Televised Sports

I saw a couple of articles on the internet that piqued my interest. The first article is by Bill Simons over at He talks of his love of World Cup Soccer. Not soccer, just World Cup Soccer. He makes some interesting points. I found myself watching the end of the semifinal game between Italy and Germany on Tuesday, just waiting for something to happen. Saw a couple good parts with a lot of action, but there is a lot of waiting in soccer.

The second article, also over at, is by Jason Whitlock. He talks about some new possibilities for sports that should be televised now since that in addition to poker, we have dominos and competitive eating. Truth be told, I watched the hot dog eating contest on the 4th. It is actually the third year in a row that I’ve watched this contest. I wake up to ESPN on TV and this contest comes on at 11am. Once it starts, it is just hard to turn off. I did like his ideas for some new sports, especially the Scoring Number in Bars and the Beer Bonging competition.

Seriously, go check out both articles and then keep reading… I found them both informative and funny… Here are the links again:

Both articles point out the fact that we’re televising soccer (which is a very popular sport, just not in the USA yet) and poker, dominos and hot dog eating contests which with at least three of those, you sit and wait for something to happen (an actual play, someone to win big or lose even bigger, regurgitation), truth be told, I’m not really sure why people watch dominos, unless it is to see someone that looks like Ice-Cube slam down a domino and yell “Domino!” (I think that is from a movie or something, not sure, let me know if you know).

It makes me wonder why a sport that I love, waterskiing, doesn’t get more air time. 3 event skiing (jumping, slalom and tricking) hardly gets any air time, wakeboarding get just a tiny bit more, barefooting gets pretty close to zero air time.

Show skiing’s national tournament, an event that takes 2 days to complete with 14 hours of competition gets 42 minutes of air time, and in reality gets maybe 30 after taking out the promo time given to the sponsors. Show skiing, for those who don’t’ know, consists of jumping, ballet, barefooting, and human pyramids. Probably close to a thousand people compete (14 teams) taking many thousands of runs. They collapse this into 30 minutes of highlights. Just doesn’t do it justice. To do it right, they should show an hour long summary of the bottom teams and edit the top 4 teams’ shows so they’d each fit into an hour of TV. Make it a five night event and show it. And then, keeping it in line with how the scoring actually occurs, don’t announce the scores after each show. Obviously, the bottom 10 teams will be known, but the top four should be shown in the order they compete and just let the drama build. Tack on an extra half hour to do the awards justice and to announce the winners.

Just imagine if they took the Tour de France and editted it down to a 60 minute show. Here’s Lance starting, here he is going up a hill, here he’s passing someone, this is him finishing this stage, and look, he won the whole thing. That’s what they do to show skiing.

Meanwhile, I’ll need to go check the schedule to find out when they are televising dominos next.

Visit… More pictures, more videos, more water skiing stuff.

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