It’s so clear, it feels real. That’s how high definition television has been marketed to us since it’s inception some years ago, and with the booms in technology it’s only getting better. In fact, HD is almost becoming a standard relic, as 3D is the new wave of the home viewing experience. But if you ask Roger Goodell what he thinks of HD, he’s not pining over the good it’s doing his sport.
“One of our biggest challenges in the league is the experience at home,” Goodell said before the Falcons-Cowboys game last Monday night. “HD is only going to get better.”
It’s no secret that the NFL is seeing a decline in ticket sales. From outrageous face value prices, to the cost of eating at the game and the inconvenience of waiting for 20 minutes at a time for a little glass of beer, fans aren’t going to games the way they used to. The NFL has even lowered it’s strict blackout restrictions due to the fact that stadiums aren’t selling out and fans can’t get their favorite team televised locally — a double whammy of sorts.
The blackouts are killing interest in teams in struggling markets, and as much as fans of the Jaguars, Buccaneers and even Chargers want to be invested in this team, it’s hard to when you can’t watch them live.
Claiming high definition is killing your sport seems like a cop-out but Goodell’s not wrong. Fans love the live experience of the game, the energy of a loud crowd, but it’s a lot easier to walk five steps from your comfy chair to the fridge and grab a cold beer than to go up and down flights of stairs and wait in line for a $9 drink.
The economy is struggling and people are forced to choose between dinner for the kids and watching a bunch of sweaty guys play with balls live. It’s not surprising what a majority of Americans are thinking. The joke is that soon teams won’t have to worry about selling out as the blackout restriction will be lowered all they way to 65 percent in ten years.
But it’s a joke now, but could very well become reality in the near future. But the real question is, will half full stadiums hurt the integrity and energy of the NFL or will the people warm and toasty in their homes not really care?