Live is Gold

Ah, March.

The best time of the year for sports and college basketball fans everywhere. For a period of about three to four weeks, March Madness consumes us all as we watch 64 teams compete to become that year’s national champion, cut the nets, get their one shining moment – you know the drill.

But with the Kentucky Monstars manhandling everyone they match up against current state of traditional cable television rapidly declining, fewer people are watching the tournament now, too, right?

Err, no.

The most-viewed college basketball game in cable TV history? In 2015? Why are sporting events seemingly immune to the lack of viewership that continues to plague traditional cable television? The answer is actually pretty simple: live is gold. Sports possess the appeal of live, and people all over the world are going to continue to watch them as long as they’re played.

While cable TV ratings plummet, ratings for sporting events continue to trend upwards. This year’s Super Bowl garnered the largest audience in TV history – breaking the record set by the previous year’s big game.

Think about it: it’s only getting easier for people to watch their favorite TV shows at their own convenience. Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, DVR – all tools available for people to stream or record whatever they want and enjoy it when they please.

A much smaller number of people record sports, of course. People want to be in the loop and included in the conversation, so there’s much more appeal to watching the games live as they’re being played. Plus, you’d essentially have to shut yourself out from any and every form of social media if you don’t want to have the game spoiled for you.

In the future, TV is only going to continue to get easier for people to record, and TV ratings are only going to continue to fall. Sports, however, are on the opposite end of the spectrum. As long as sports are played and broadcasted, people are going to continue to watch, and they’re going to continue to watch live. Advertisers realize this, too, which is why ad space for big games like the Super Bowl cost brands multiple arms and legs. John Oliver chimed in on the advertising money pumped into the NCAA Tournament:

Don’t be surprised if we see another record-breaking game in this year’s Final Four or National Championship, or if we see that record broken again next year, and again the year after that. This is only going to continue to happen, too, and you remember the reason why: live is gold.

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