Audiences Turning on Sports

I know what you’re going to say.

Your favorite NFL playoff game’s ratings were high and the Super Bowl ratings will be through the roof.

That everyone loves The World Series.

And, lest I forget …

Sports rights are being sold for record numbers.  And the NFL is even looking to package some additional inconsequential early season Thursday night games now on NFL Network for another network who will pay more.

Sounds like sports is still a pretty good business and it is.

Until you see the storm clouds ahead.

The Wall Street Journal reports kids are no longer watching baseball:

“The average World Series viewer this year is 54.4 years old, according to Nielsen, the media research firm. The trend line is heading north: The average age was 49.9 in 2009. Kids age 6 to 17 represented just 4.3% of the average audience for the American and National League Championship Series this year, compared with 7.4% a decade ago”.

The kids have found other things to do.

And The Journal also reports that fans prefer to stay at home rather than attend games in spite of high ratings.

Green Bay Packers, Indianapolis Colts and Cincinnati Bengals had to turn to sponsors and corporations to sell enough tickets to avoid being blacked out.

The NFL has tried in-stadium solutions like Wi-Fi and special content only available to those attending to no avail.

I point this out not to suggest panic, just to remind you that young audiences change businesses quickly because they are the change makers and sooner-than-later become the money demo.

If that is true, sports joins radio, the record industry and other traditional media ventures in jeopardy of losing a good thing because it is unwilling or unable to change.

For example, if you turned your station over to teenagers to reinvent, you’d probably choke on their suggestions.  I did this with college students in an honors class I taught at USC where they were to reinvent satellite radio.  The class sponsor XM Satellite was not impressed with their radical ideas most of which were four to five years ahead of what they were eventually forced to do today.

This deserves some attention.

Nothing is safe – not even sports.

The March 26th Philly conference is focusing on 7 critical things that will make you a better broadcaster or digital entrepreneur.

Are we up to learning new skills to aggressively stay in the game?

  1. Disrupting radio.  Digital competitors are doing it to us now but the answer is plain and simple:  we must do it to ourselves.  They are winning.
  2. Master digital.  Digital isn’t an add-on to broadcasting.  You’ll see it all differently when you go to school on how effectively a radio station can start a profitable separate digital revenue stream.  I will share.
  3. Dominate social media.  Facebook and Twitter are out, don’t exit with them.  Social networks you start, run, monetize and keep all the profits from – that’s what we’re going to get to. 
  4. Reinvent radio.  There are 15 to 25 things that can be done within a week of leaving Philly that cost you nothing more than the price of admission that can transform an antiquated approach to radio to one that even the next generation can embrace.  Real take-home pay.
  5. Video is your future.  I will play video from the best of the best – entrepreneurs who haul in $3 million a year by doing a free 5-minute weekly video.  No commercials, banner ads, product placement or subscription fees.  But a special secret path to monetization that you should adopt.  I’m going to. 
  6. Conduct a Millennial makeover.  Generational listeners 30 and under are available to you for the taking if you know what they want.  And as a USC professor who developed courses in generational media, I’m going to share the latest with you. 
  7. Time shift radio.  Broadcasting is out.  Audiences want on-demand.  Binge watching is in.  Morning shows are no longer morning shows.  This is a definitive look at how to time shift radio and catch the hottest trend of the past two years. 

I’m putting lots of time aside this year for questions.

This event will not be available by stream or video – only live and in person. 

I can’t wait to share my enthusiasm and knowledge with you in person.

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Complimentary breakfast starts at 8 am.  Session begins at 9 am at the beautiful Rittenhouse Hotel.  Buffet lunch and all breaks included.   Conference ends at 4 pm.