Over the last few months I have been at a loss for words over how many sporting events that are not only not on TV, but also streamed online. These events as such can be accessed from a few clicks of the mouse and some navigation around the web to find the right game.
As a Canadian, trying to find sports on as a kid was extremely hard. Up until 2008, Canadian television had three sports channels. Unless you were a fan of the Blue Jays, Raptors, Curling or the CFL it was hard to find entertaining sports weekly. Furthermore, in 2008, it wasn’t uncommon to not go on the internet daily as very few people had smart phones. This meant that unless it was Monday Night Football or Hockey Night in Canada, there generally wasn’t a game on TV not involving a team outside your region.
In fact, if you were a fan of a team outside of your television jurisdictions, it was generally only the playoffs when you saw your team on TV multiple times in a row.
The Internet has changed everything about how we view sports today. The idea to write this article sparked up when I was watching the final seconds of the Cleveland Cavaliers – Detroit Pistons’ game last Sunday night, as the Cavs finished up sweeping the Pistons to move into the Eastern Conference Semifinals. Directly following the conclusion, moments reflecting over the Pistons’ remarkable championship run that was finished off by beating the Lakers in the 2004 NBA Finals, came rushing back.
I remember how electric the Palace of Auburn Hills was for Game 5 when Detroit sealed the fate of Los Angeles and remember wishing more Pistons games to appear on TV. Now, fast forward to 2016, and if I really wanted to, I could watch every Pistons game online or with the purchase of NBA League Pass.
However, the internet has not only changed our sporting lifestyles from a streaming standpoint, but it has also impacted us from a media standpoint as well. With the help of apps and websites, we now have the ability to listen to our favorite team’s post game shows on a nightly basis. Listening to the radio in bed was my favorite thing to do at night and now we can basically listen to any cities’ morning talk shows straightly because of the internet and these various apps. This leads us to be more connected then we ever have thought before.
In addition, we also have social media to interact with our favorite teams and athletes. Take Twitter for instance, this world-wide app that’s used by millions of people has turned the average sports fan feel more connected to their favorite player, media member, or team. Fans feel closer to their sport’s icons because fans feel like they have a more personal connection with the athletes. Without Twitter, listening to a favorite media member wouldn’t be as entertaining.
Nevertheless, it is a very exciting era to be a sports fan. Over the last few months, I feel I don’t have enough computers to keep an eye on the rapid breaking news that happens hourly these days. The fun question is, if this is what it is in 2016, what is in store for us in 2026?