Weekend Links: Soon, sports will be the only thing on TV

As always, these links appeared first at RandBall, your home for not being able to make it this week.

Last week, Netflix released “House of Cards,” a 13-episode miniseries based on a British miniseries of the same name. It’s doing quite well and people seem to like it, and even better, they don’t have to wait for seven days in between episodes – all 13 were released at once. It’s a great deal for Netflix subscribers, a great deal for Netflix, and for sports fans, it’s the latest indication that someday, the only thing on television will be sports.

Next August, FOX Sports will rebrand the Speed Channel as “Fox Sports 1,” and it will immediately be the third-biggest cable sports channel. It’ll also complete the network sports channel superfecta, joining NBC Sports, CBS Sports, and the ABC/ESPN family of sports networks as cable sports outlets for the Big Four. This doesn’t include FOX’s regional sports networks or NBC/Comcast’s network of the same, or the Comcast-run Golf Channel, or the college conference networks like the Big Ten Network, or the channels run by the four pro sports leagues… you get my point.

I’m not much of a traditional TV viewer – I’m far too busy watching every one of the channels mentioned above – but I can’t remember the last time I watched a live episode of a show that I do follow. Most people I know simply record the shows and watch them at their convenience, or wait until the shows are available on Netflix or Hulu and plow through them all there. Sports, however, are immune to this sort of thing – nobody waits until March to watch sixteen Vikings games in a row. So here’s my prediction – someday soon, every channel on television will be a sports channel. ABC Family will show Pop Warner football. The Travel Channel will show skiing. A&E will be devoted to gymnastics and figure skating. The Military Channel will be devoted to rugby. And TNT, angling to be the most-watched thing on television, will be nothing but Charles Barkley talking for twenty-four hours a day.

I don’t know about you, but I’m looking forward to it. We’re on our way to a future in which every sporting event, everywhere in the world, is broadcast on our televisions. And for sports junkies like me, what could be better?

*On with the links:

*Over at Deadspin, Hamilton Nolan writes about boxing’s Great White Hope problem, which explains why a boxer you’ve never heard of was in a Super Bowl commercial.

*Also at Deadspin, the explanation of the fair-catch free-kick rule, possibly the stupidest football rule this side of Canadian football. To recap: it’s a rule, borrowed from rugby, that doesn’t even exist in rugby any more, but you can feel superior to your friends by knowing it, like knowing the balk rule in baseball.

*Stu tries to figure out what the next improbable Minnesota sports injury will be. This is notable because it drew responses on Twitter from both Glen Perkins and Chris Kluwe, which is both kind of awesome, and for those of us who enjoy teasing athletes on the internet, kind of terrifying because apparently THEY ARE WATCHING US.

*Hey, NFL fans! Want to get into the NHL? Sean McIndoe has a helpful guide.

*And finally: if you missed Brooklyn’s Mirza Teletovic tossing up three airballs in a row, then please watch, and remember: there’s still room for the Wolves to get worse.

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