The imaginary fall of sports’ popularity


William Sharis

Bleacher Report's highlights of sports from over the last weekend of September.

Will Sharis, Photo manager

The rise of technology has provided professional sports a non-traditional outlet to continue to attract new generations to the world of sports that coincides with the fast pace of their lives.

Across the news in the past years, there have been many headlines declaring the death of sports because of the falling TV ratings year-over-year. However, statistics fail to consider the rise of technology and social media that impacts the style of following sports.

In a poll of students from PVHS, 13 out of the 21 students answered that they followed sports via highlights, news, and scores more than watching the live game. Out of the 13 respondents, 11 of them added that they would not follow the majority of sports if live streaming and television were the only options.

Pleasant Valley Senior Dilan Nair exemplified the distaste in spending a lot of time watching a game live, “I would be following tennis and football much less if I had to watch every game live,” he said.

In a world that stresses the importance of speed, more Millennials and Generation Zs are spending less time watching sports per sitting. With less TV time being consumed at each sitting, TV ratings’ decline stems mostly from the decreased attention span and not the falling popularity of sports among Americans.

In the 2018 NBA and NFL seasons, there was an increase in viewership of games compared to the previous year. However, the way people consume their entertainment has changed because of the decreasing attention spans of modern-day fans.

Pleasant Valley senior Delaney Evans illustrated the change in sports for her generation, “I often follow the sports I’m interested in on social media as they are not often televised or live-streamed,” she said. Social media provides a source to catch up on all the necessary information such as official game scores, controversies, and highlights without the commercials and timeouts that extend sports.

However, some major events attract a larger live viewership. Nair, felt this way about playoffs and finals, “[it is] the only time I will watch an entire game,” he said. In fact, many large live events attract more people almost every year as sport’s popularity continues to stay strong.

With the culmination of the entire picture, sports are still, if not more popular, because of the rise of various media options that can be tailored to exactly how a person wants to consume sports.