Remote Audiences are the Future of Everything

BASEBALL ON THE MOON ~ Spring Training ~

~ Spring Training, 2115 ~


It’s already happening. It didn’t really get revved up until our incredible breakthroughs in digital technology brought us victory over analog lined light pictures and increases in high definition picture quality hammered us at home with motion pictures at home that were both an improvement over our visions and sight lines at live events – and far sight better picture with quality sound (and home closed captioning) that made for even watching movies at home more comfortably preferable and desirable than going to the finest new stadium-seating multiplex. To say nothing of the bonus that home viewing comes with much cheaper concessions treats than the overpriced stuff we feel compelled to buy at the ballparks, stadiums, field house, and movie theaters.

Now this explosion of visual delights, which also include multiple angle, always the best possible views, instant and ad nauseum replays, our own control, via our own rewind or stop action options ability to pause everything for kitchen runs or bathroom breaks – and what do we have? We have a much better deal than we shall ever have from our one angle seat at the ballgame or movie theater. No matter how big and resolute the monster screens at stadiums grow to be, they are not the same as home viewing. All the big screens do is remind us of the fact that a better view experience awaits us at home. Otherwise, why do we go to a crowded over-priced place to watch on someone else’s big screen what we could watch at home for free on the one(s) we control?

People who need the company of many strangers to feel as though they are actually at the game are also finding sports bars preferable, and cheaper, than going to the ballpark too. Others are settling for iPad, digital tablet, and cell phone versions of the live action as the perfect fit to their always-moving multitasking pace of life schedules as attention challenged members of these latest modern times in our culture.

Departing NCAA Football Playoff Selection Committee member Oliver Luck yesterday raved over the record TV ratings achieved by the College Championship Game last Monday night. He also didn’t think the new system for determining participants needed more than the four teams selected by the committee, pointing to the TV ratings success as proof of his point.

“I think four is the right number,” Luck said, “I think it should be hard to get into the playoff. It really should.”

And therein Luck’s statement rests the flaw that comes with the still burgeoning numbers of the electronic audience that is now the primary target group for all commercial attractions. If two teams of relatively similar on-field results are up for grabs as the fourth team needed (let’s say, Ohio State and TCU, for example), how often will the much larger fan bases for the Ohio States of this world get the nod over the TCUs, Baylors, Marshalls, or Boise States as the final pick for the four-team playoff? And how much of that imbalance and vulnerability to subjective judgment could college football reduce by expanding to a field of eight contenders? Would it be worth disturbing the current comfort zones of four additional meaningless bowl games to make that possible?

At any rate, the larger point today is our need to get our perspectives straight on where the primary audience lives. In largest form, it’s the digital picture audience away from the actual venue of play. And that’s the point that even underscores the incredible stupidity of that two season TV ban that prevented 60% of the Houston audience for professional baseball and basketball from even watching their sports without either subscribing to Comcast or buying a ticket for the game.

If the main athletic fan diversions of American culture are still around in a hundred years, it makes you wonder where the actual contests will be held. Will we keep building the mammoth venues that are never as comfortable, but always more expensive than home? Or will we reverse things – and make fans buy season tickets to watch at home while the games get played out in private on either the Moon or Mars?

The Moon or Mars? Watch out Babe Ruth, Josh Gibson, and Mickey Mantle! – Your distance homer records may be in serious jeopardy!





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