Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Pay to Play

At one time, I really would have been bent out of shape over this. Now? I just don't care.

ESPN outbid FOX for the rights to the college Bowl Championship Series games beginning in 2011. ESPN offered $125 million for each year of a four year contract. FOX maxed out at $100 million.

It marks the first time a major sport's championship games will NOT be on broadcast television.

If you haven't realized it by now, you will have to pay for anything worth watching in the years to come, especially sports. The World Series will switch eventually. One of these days, it'll be the Super Bowl.

I don't think it will stop at sports. There have been rumors for years that the broadcast networks want out of the news business. I firmly believe local news has a future on free broadcast television. After all, you own the airwaves, and broadcasters are supposed to operate with the public's interest, necessity, and convenience in mind.

The networks are nearly out of the news business now. ABC and CBS do overnight broadcasts, plus the morning shows and the evening news. NBC is a bit further ahead because it has MSNBC and CNBC. Rumors surface from time to time that CBS and CNN will combine. I'm not a big fan of mergers like that, but it makes sense here. CBS spends a lot of money for very little air time.

The internet adds an entire different dimension to the process, and as we all know, the information superhighway is a toll road.

The bottom line is save your money. You'll need it to be entertained and informed in the future.