Why Haven’t Pro Sports Figured Out There’s A Market For Individual Game Broadcasts?

Sounds like a simple idea, right?  The NFL has rights to all of its games; they’ve probably got some huge vault of video tape and digital files just sitting around, collecting dust until the next round of NFL Films comes out with some broadcast on the All Time Greatest Whatever.  Why wouldn’t they provide a service where you can purchase individual games to re-watch whenever and however many times you want?

This goes for the NBA and MLB too.  Think about it:  people buy movies on DVD all the time.  Fantatics will re-watch the same movie dozens of times throughout their lives.  Don’t you think these same fanatics would pay DVD-type prices to buy significant games throughout history?

Wouldn’t you pay $30 to see the “Shot Heard ‘Round The World” game?  Or “The Ice Bowl”?  Or Wilt Chamberlain’s 100-point game?  I know damn well I would!

Why can’t this happen?  Would it really cost so much to digitize all of these games that they have in their vaults (that is to say, if they haven’t done so already, just because)?  Wouldn’t they like to MAKE money on something that already exists?  That’s just sitting there taking up space?

If the answer is no – which, apparently, it is – then what we all believe to be true really is, in fact, true:  the NFL, NBA, and MLB don’t give a shit about the fan.  Real shocker, I know, but still, this is a fucking goldmine and they’re just sitting there twittling their thumbs!

Here’s what you do; let’s say you’re Major League Baseball.  First, create a website.  It can be an off-shoot of your mlb.com website, but for logistical purposes you might want to make it its own entity.  Then, start by offering just the most classic of baseball games.  People can either purchase a DVD copy of the game (for $30), or they can download it directly to their computers (for $25).  Once this proves WILDLY popular, here’s the logical conclusion:  make every game available for (at least) download.

Wouldn’t that be something?  Here are the games I’d buy right away:

Mariners

The last three games of the 1995 ALDS
The 1-game playoff with California in 1995
Randy Johnson’s no-hitter
Felix Hernandez’s first start
And, I dunno, maybe the first-ever Mariners win

Seahawks

NFC Championship Game vs. Carolina
The Derrick Thomas vs. Dave Krieg game in 1990
The Steve Largent vs. Mike Harden game in 1988

Sonics

1996 Western Conference Finals Game 7 vs. Utah
The two wins against the Bulls in 1996 Finals
The 1979 Championship-Clinching Game

And, in more general terms, I figure I’d buy a bunch of classic baseball games from the golden era, maybe a great game or two from the Lakers/Celtics finals of the 80s, the Bills/Giants Super Bowl in 1991 (although, to be fair, I’m pretty sure I could own that one right now if I wanted to buy the boxed set surrounded by 9 other crappy Super Bowls), “The Comeback” game between the Oilers & Bills in 1993.

In short, I’d be so busy watching old sporting events that I wouldn’t even have a chance to watch anything current!  Get on it, sports leagues.  I mean it!

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