Wednesday, September 30, 2020

In What World Would This Be Good News For Biden?

Paul Mirengoff has an interesting blog tonight on sports viewership, and to my mind it may have implications for the presidential election: NBA playoff viewership falls off the cliff. Viewership of the Western Conference finals--featuring the most famous team with the most famous player--is off 40% from one year ago. And that 40% drop is from a relatively low level to begin.

Mirengoff goes through the numbers, which you can read for yourself if you care to. He concludes:

Conservative America’s divorce from the NBA is a sign, I think, of things to come. Unless corporate America steps back from its embrace of woke leftism, we are going to have to divorce ourselves from large swathes of it. To the extent feasible, we may have to divorce ourselves from many of America’s public schools. And so forth.

Some of these divorces will be painful. The NBA divorce isn’t one of them ...

Mirengoff doesn't argue that this is a politically motivated boycott--in fact he deliberately avoids that judgment. Still, I have to believe that Dem brand and the NBA's new "woke" brand are very much connected in the minds of those former NBA viewers who have divorced from the league. As an indicator of public sentiment, that has to be bad news for the Dems and Biden.


  1. What about the MLB and the NFL? May it happen to my former two favorites also! They have "earned" it!

  2. I don't give a rat's patootie about professional sports, so avoiding them comes naturally to me. But my brother, and several dozens of his rather large group of friends who are all baseball fanatics, many playing in amateur leagues, were deeply offended over the Milwaukee Brewers taking a woke political position about the Kenosha police incident. They have all cancelled their season tickets (reservations at least for when in person games return) and organized a letter campaign telling the team they will never attend a game when they open again until they apologize. These are all blue collar folks, most of whom are not political at all. They are now.

    I was shocked--these were extremely committed fans who are nuts about their sport. I assumed they would just grumble and tune in to the game anyway, but they won't even watch it on TV. So I would not be surprised if all major sports declines in viewers is permanent. Once major sports became political, they were bound to turn off half their audience. And they became political in the most offensive way possible.

    1. Don't worry, NBA, a Biden Admin. will find a way, to construe folks' refusals to watch your games as evidence that they're Rayciss!
      What did Beria say, about "you find me the man, I'll ...."

  3. Viewership is down for all major sports in the US.

    This is just my take ...

    As a child, my dad took me to numerous Dallas Cowboy’s and Texas Rangers games. I remember Crazy Ray many times at Texas Stadium.

    Today, you have to take out a loan to sit in nosebleed sections after paying $50 or so just park. Average price for a seat is about $200.

    The NFL has priced out the average family. $800 or more just to watch a game for family of four? That’s without parking or any kind of food.

    Well, I guess we could pay $40, after parking, to stand and watch the game on the jumbotron and other large televisions.

    The Texas Rangers is much better in price, but it’s hard to have my kids watch a game for 3-4 hours with little to no action.

    The Dallas Mavericks is better than the NFL, but it depends on the opponent.

    All in all, via price, my family of 6, it is a once in a longtime event to go to a professional sports game. It is better to go on old school cross country road trip vacations that last for a couple of weeks or more than pay for a few hours of professional sports that costs closer to the trip than not.

    Couple with the “wokeness” that has an anti-American vibe, the Covid rules that even Fauci can’t follow, to alternative ways of watching sports, it is no wonder viewership is down.

    Maybe sports players need to be paid where they have to have another job off season.

    - TexasDude

    1. After decades of Rose Bowl games, we now find it great to watch from our personal skybox, with more comfortable chairs (recliners) and very handy food, beverage and restroom availability.

  4. It's impossible to quantify this, but it seems to have some value as an indicator of public sentiment.

    1. ... bread and circuses...

      it seems people are losing interest in circuses

      they want their bread

      things are getting serious


  5. MLB players in the old days did have off season jobs. Sounds like a good practice to bring back.

    1. Back in the '50s and early '60s, my father--who ran an insurance agency--employed a few NBA players in the off-season. One even continued as his career when his playing days finished.

      Admittedly, playing salaries were such that off-season employment was necessary if they had a family.

  6. I haven't read Mirengoff's column (yet--reading Mark before Powerline!), but I wouldn't conclude the NBA viewership falloff is due to Conservative America. Conservatives mostly stopped watching the NBA some time ago.

    The NBA game is not that interesting. You only need to look at the score at the beginning of the 4th period: if the score is close, the winner is still in doubt. If it's a blowout, as many games are, the game is already over, so it's pointless to watch.

    More than likely, the NBA's core audience is declining because, like Conservative America, the sports fan doesn't care for politics invading a space formerly politics-free. Sports had been a respite from politics, from social activism, an escape from societal dilemmas. Now used for those purposes, it has chased away its fans.

    As it is, all broadcast sports suffer the same dilemma: televised sports became an entertainment spectacle where the game became secondary to serving the needs of advertisers (attracting an audience).

    Note the Masters golf tournament, where sponsors and advertisements are limited so as not to sully the broadcast with distractions from the event. Viewer enjoyment is the objective, not maximizing advertising revenues.

    1. Augusta National has also had the fortitude to stick with traditional values that have made it special and worth watching. They have changed the course, admitted women as members, etc., but in ways that are consistent with their core values, and not in blind response to outside 'cancel' culture.

  7. Sports have had a good spot in cultures as far back as the ancient Greeks and Romans, because they embodied certain ideals and virtues that were deemed worthy of promoting and teaching to people in general. Marxists have been good at taking institutions with long-term good will that's been built up over years and years, and trying to subvert them to push their cause. Now that sports in general promotes values that are opposite of the former values, people have too much common sense to stick with them. The marxists underestimate people's motivations with these institutions, and think people are like sheep that will stick with things even after they're corrupted. Luckily, people are not that dumb. When sports gets a bunch of dumb athletes and management that will sell out to stupidity and greed, the rest of us don't have to follow them! Let 'em go!

    1. One of the Pillars of Socialism is that individual agency is a myth, that humans really don't function at any higher level than a bovine herd. Their functioning corollary to this is that they must act as herdsmen or there can be no "progress" ergo they being in charge is necessarily "progress", a narcissists world view. They invariably become enraged when facts prove that humans have more in common with a pride of lions than a herd of wildebeest.
      Tom S.