The Sports Linchpin →

Ben Thompson · Stratechery ·

Ben Thompson on sports as the lynchpin of television as we know it.

…I would argue sports are the linchpin holding the entire post-war economic order together. Because sports are consumed live, with significantly higher advertising load and viewer retention, sports are increasingly the only viable place for mass-market consumer companies to reach customers at scale and fight off niche e-commerce companies slicing off their customer base. That in turn helps preserve retailers, themselves both big advertisers and big targets for internet-based companies, particularly Amazon, and so on down the line. This effect is magnified by sports’ role in preserving the cable bundle, which keeps more channels – and thus more inventory – viable (not to mention that some of TV’s biggest advertisers – entertainment companies – also own the cable channels).