Did you know that the NBA has the best YouTube channel of any major North American sport? This is remarkable considering it is a distant third in terms of revenue. It’s also a fascinating exercise in fan outreach, as the NBA actively encourages fan-made videos and other content while other sports use restrictive copyrights to make themselves the sole distributor of content. In addition to these policies (and the fact that I like basketball), it’s worth noting that while football is clearly the king of team sports in the US (especially if you include college football), there’s a risk that increased awareness of concussions and other injuries could cause football to lose out on revenue in the future. This could happen through changes in demand, with fewer people wanting to watch football, or changes in supply, as fewer athletes want to play. If you think it can’t happen, don’t forget that boxing used to be one of America’s most dominant sports.
Will this same fate happen to football? It’s impossible to know, but as a basketball fan, I hope the NBA is be prepared to try and take over that market space. Before they are under the spotlight and the opportunity passes, they should implement some reforms. An important one would be the shortening of the season. Continue reading