Sports in the USA

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Any business' operator hopes to get a good deal. However, the network sports industries have not been faring well lately. They have experienced financial setbacks mainly caused by the oversaturation of sports programming on networks and compering cable channels. Networks claim they are now losing money on once-lucrative telecasts. Ironically, the slump in business is occurring at a time when sports shows are drawing larger audiences than in recent years. Part of the problem is that advertising costs got too high, and the industries mat traditionally Duy ads beer ana car companies are not paying the high prices. Networks, dependent on advertising for revenue, are hoping that the market will change before they have to make drastic reductions ir sports programming.


The commercial aspects of American professional sports can make or break an athlete's career. Young, talented athletes make it to the top because they are exceptionally talented, but not in every case because they are the best. In women's tennis, for example, an aspiring young tennis star must not only possess a winning serve and backhand, she must also get corporate agents on her side. Without agents who line up sponsors and publicity, a player has a very difficult time moving from amateur to professional sports. To get the endorsement of corporate advertising sponsors, a talented young tennis player has a much better chance for success if she is also attractive. Sales-conscious tennis sportswear companies pay large sums of money to tennis pros who promote their products. Many top players earn more money a year in product-endorsement fees than in prize money. Competition and success in sports, then, is not only a matter of game skill, but marketability as well.


College sports lost its amateurism years ago. Teams and events are institutionalized and contribute to college publicity and revenue. Sports bring in money to colleges from ticket sales and television rights, so colleges like having winning teams. The better the team, the greater the ticket sales and television coverage, and the more money the college can channel back into athletics and other programs. Football and basketball are the most lucrative college sports because they attract the most fans. Other college sports, particularly women's sports, are often neglected and ignored by spectators, the news media, and athletic directors who often disregard-women's sports budgets and funnel money for equipment and facilities into the sports that pay. On the other hand, top college teams get a lot of attention. In 1986, the Division 1 college football programs had a budget of nearly $1 billion, while entertaining millions of spectators and television viewers.


To recruit student athletes for a winning team, many colleges are willing to go to great lengths, providing full academic scholarships, to athletes, and sometimes putting the college's academic reputatiori at risk. The tacit understanding shared by college admissions directors as well as the potential sports stars they admit is that athletes do not enroll in college to learn, but to play sports and perhaps use intercollegiate sports as a springboard for a professional career. The situation often embarrasses college administrators, who are caught between educational ideals and commercial realities, and infuriates other students, who resent the preferential treatment given to athletes. Of late, some universities, such as the University of Michigan, have initiated support programs to improve academic performance and graduation rates of athletes.


Increasing commercialization of college sports is part of a larger trend. American sports are becoming more competitive and more profit-oriented. As a result, playing to win is emphasized more than playing for fun. This is true from the professional level all the way down to the level of children's Little League sports" teams, where young players are encourag'ed by such "slogans as "A quitter never wins; a winner never quits," and "never be willing to be second best." The obsession with winning causes some people to wonder whether sports in America should be such serious business.

Sports: Colleges and Universities

The athletic programs of American

colleges and universities have come

in for a great deal of criticism

but there does not seem to be

Реферат опубликован: 26/01/2007