Blandness Doesn't Win In TV's New Sports Content Arena
Apparently, there are aspects of TV sports that might be called dull. Examples include the current number-one player in women's tennis and the length of NASCAR races.
Seems Caroline Wozniacki -- the top-ranked tennis pro -- has been a bit boring lately, especially in press conferences. So, following a recent erroneous report about Wozniacki being hit by a kangaroo at a public park during the Australian Open, she appeared at her next press conference wearing boxing gloves and accompanied by a large plastic kangaroo.
In another press conference, looking to overturn her ho-hum perception, she playfully turned the tables by blaming reporters for asking dull questions. To help the reporters out a bit, she brought up some lighthearted subjects -- her taste in men, her family, her piano skills and how to stop global warming.
Still, I'm not sure this is enough for scandal-craving, on- and off-the-court needy journalists.
On the other side of the sports spectrum, Fox Sports Chairman David Hill believes three-hour-plus NASCAR races go on too long and need to be cut back. He didn't say it, but you could imagine him using the word "boring" at some point in his thinking about the subject. This comes to light in the wake of NASCAR's lower TV ratings over the last several years. (Mind you, other sports have seen ratings drops as well).
One remedy: Fox could just air the last three-quarters of a NASCAR race. Typically, when TV airs road bicycling live, it airs only the last two or three hours or so of a four to six-hour bike race.
With 24-hour sports on cable, radio, and now, growing digital networks, the drive for content -- hopefully original -- is in high demand. TV executives and journalists fear the "dull" patina that may be grabbing some sports -- on and off the court, field and racetrack. Today's sports viewers want athletes and/or cars in conflict, as well as the usual marital scandals and name-calling.
The end result is just that -- how the event ends. If we have to cut one area, it would probably be the beginning of any sports event. We want to know who wins.
Still, we also want to see crashes, even those during a press conference.