October 11, 2011

How the Rangers rounded up the TV bucks

He's alive!

Well, yes.  I've been away from the blog for far too long, and since I've just made a mea culpa over at Our Word, I should do the same here.

I could blame several things: a new job, moving to a new home, a cold.  But in the end I'm finding this a very lame series of excuses.  And so I thought I'd better get something up, even though it deserves to be treated at much greater length than I can at the moment.

With the Texas Rangers just two victories away from a return trip to the World Series, it seemed a good time to link to this fine article from Jonah Keri over at Grantland (and if you haven't checked this site out lately, do so - it's become one of my daily must-reads) on the role television is playing on the possible creation of a Rangers dynasty.

We all know how earth-shattering the effect has been of television on sports - everything from sustaining the American Football League in the mid-60s, to the boom of college football, to the emergence of ESPN as not just a sports channel but a lifestyle network.  Those of us who follow the business side of the sport know also of the inherent advantages a large-market team has when it comes to local media revenue (see: New York Yankees).

But I found this particularly interesting, in that we're now seeing how TV, especially in the form of regional networks, might be able to level the playing field.  Is it temporary, or will we see a true shift in the ability of teams outside the traditional media centers to compete financially?  And here we thought it was all about putting people in the seats and games on the tube.  Hah!

A fascinating topic, the relationship between television and sports.  I'll be back with more thoughts on this shortly.

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