Monday, February 4, 2008

The real loser in the Superbowl

The sports-fan.

No, not because of the game. And no, not because the advertisements were largely mediocre this year.

The sports-fan lost because the Superbowl is vastly over commercialized. Between the constant reminders of corporate sponsorship for every tiny portion of the coverage to the almost constant ad breaks, it was sometimes hard to realize there was a game going on at all.

It's sad because of all the major sporting events held around the world, the Superbowl stands out as a commercial event more than a sporting spectacle. The idea to monetize every break, no matter how small, and to keep the teams waiting in 'TV-timeouts' is appalling - to the sports fan.

I know this goes on in other NFL games as well, and in large part, the Superbowl was originally designed as a media event. But where is the love for the sport? Why put fans through an inordinate amount of advertising just to watch a live sporting event?

I admit my perspective is somewhat warped. I am used to watching Rugby and Soccer, which long ago decided that a half was 40/45 minutes and that they owed fans that amount of uninterrupted coverage.

What scares me is that as television advertising wanes and it becomes harder to secure large (and live) audiences, sporting events are going to suffer even more.

I just wish I could have spent 2 hours watching a 60 minute game, rather than four.

Congratulations to the Giants by the way. As much as it pains me to say that.

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