The ending of HBO’s ‘Real Sports’ is bad for the world

Sports television has always been referred to as the “idiot box,” but this year, it seems to have hit a new low. Networks and viewers alike have taken sports television to a level where common sense is no longer required, making it difficult to watch. The recent end of HBO’s Real Sports after 29 years is a clear indication that the landscape of sports journalism has changed.

Bryant Gumble, the host of Real Sports, believes that the show will be remembered for its attempt to do sports journalism the right way and treat fans, athletes, and sports with respect. Unfortunately, respect seems to be lacking in the current sports television environment. Audiences no longer value truth, context, and nuance; instead, they are more interested in being entertained by viral moments created by athletes on these shows.

Gumble also highlights the challenges of producing a show like Real Sports in today’s world. Firstly, it is an expensive endeavor, and secondly, most outlets have contractual relationships with sports leagues that prevent them from producing an honest show. Additionally, the public’s appetite has changed, and they now expect things to be brief and easily digestible.

This shift in audience preferences has resulted in a decline in serious sports journalism. Former athletes are replacing journalists on TV shows, and the focus has shifted from investigating and discussing serious topics to entertainment. The people with the knowledge and background to speak on these issues are being pushed out, and important stories are not receiving the attention they deserve.

An example of this is the Northwestern hazing story, which received minimal coverage on sports shows compared to news shows. The lack of deep discussion on major platforms about the larger issues at play is concerning. Ten years ago, these stories would have generated significant interest and discussion in the sports world, but now they are overshadowed by other news.

Another issue is the lack of analysis and meaningful commentary in sports television. Former athletes are supposed to provide valuable insight due to their firsthand experience, but more often than not, this knowledge is not effectively conveyed. The disappearance of shows like The Sports Reporters and Outside The Lines further highlights the decline of conversations and debates in sports television.

It is disheartening to see the state of sports television today, but there is hope for improvement. Podcasts and YouTube channels are emerging as platforms where meaningful sports discussions can still be found. Hopefully, the industry will rectify itself and audiences will once again appreciate sports-talk rather than sports-yelling.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *