Monday Rant: Capitalism is Killing Sports Media

Michael Francis
6 min readMay 22
(Image Credit: Tim Gouw /Unsplash)

First, a check up to come out of the gate: a criticism of an economic system or some result from it does not in itself mean I’m calling into question the whole system. Criticism can make things better as easily as it can call for alternatives. If you wanted a system to die, perhaps the best thing you could do is to deny and dismiss any criticism; ignore or deny the leak on a ship long enough, and there’s no ship left to argue about.

With few exceptions, our existence in an economic system that demands maximum profit has turned sports media into a cumbersome and frustrating experience.

Too Many Apps

I’m an NHL fan, and will speak to that experience here. I’m confident the experience remains nearly identical no matter which of the major 4 American sports leagues you’re talking about.

Screens and screens of apps. (Image Credit: Rami Al-zayat/Unsplash)

These playoffs, I had to flip between more than four different apps. The NHL app no longer has any streaming rights for its own league, so while good for news, scores, it actually doesn’t serve much purpose to watch hockey. Which is absurd in itself, isn’t it? More on that later.

I pay $100 a year for ESPN, and many games are on ESPN app. But not games on TNT, ABC, or any of their other family of networks. So you’ll need to download those apps as well. Game delay or overtime? They may shoot coverage to another channel; new app to download!

There’s simply too many apps. I shouldn’t have to search for coverage; I should be able to have some interface that I pay for, and that allows me access. But with competing companies, and their portfolio of channels at play, any single game could be on any one of half a dozen channels/apps.

And if that’s not frustrating enough, you’ll need an additional cable subscription because…

Cable Cutting Not An Option

I have the ESPN app, but that means literally nothing if the game is on ESPN the cable channel. Read that again. I give my money directly to ESPN, only for them to say “Ah, yes, but we sold the rights to our channel to cable…

Michael Francis

Trying to live and promote an examined life.

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