Just how few people will watch college basketball?

RomanOben

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Jan 1, 2020
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Nobody needs more bad news these days, but here is a thought I can’t get out of my head:

College basketball is on the brink of collapse. The sport has been in steady decline for years, suffering from low ratings, increased regionalism, the one-and-done fiasco, corruption from shoe companies, and a completely inept NCAA.

Throw in a pandemic, the loss of its signature (and only viable event) last season and we are staring down the barrel of a sport that may very well be wiped out in a perfect storm. If you think this is hyperbole, take a look at declining TV ratings across the board in sports like the NBA and NFL. Take a look at colleges dropping athletic programs and what the average athletic budget looks like these days. Hell, take a look at our own beloved university that is an undeniable top 10 program. Do you sense the anticipation and excitement we once had for college basketball, or anything close to it? Do you see big crowds back at the Yum Center once the pandemic lifts?😳

Louisville basketball was once a huge part of my life, but I can’t see those days returning. I’m more resigned to the reality than sad. If there’s a silver lining for me, it’s that UK fans will be hit even harder by this reality than us. They built their entire lives around Tucky’ basketball 😂
 
Oct 14, 2017
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I don't know bud, I don't think it's on the verge of collapse more than any other sports. Ratings are down, but that's due to cord cutting and more options, EVERY SPORT outside of the NFL is seeing that happen. Attendance is down, but that's a problem every sports has due to games on TV and tickets being way too high combined with parking and concessions.

The NCAA just extended their TV deal for $8.8 BILLION for the NCAA tournament.

The Virginia/TTU basketball Title Game drew 20 million viewers. Game 6 of the NBA Finals last year drew 18 million viewers. LSU/Clemson drew 23 Million viewers. Think about that, 2 non-traditional programs that don't have huge media market, no stars or interesting coaches/personalities, it still drew 20 million viewers.

Seems like that's far from collapsing LOL. But COVID may bring changes, but live sports on TV is still king. College basketball is on nightly in the winter, when everyone is inside. The NCAA tournament is the biggest event in sports. Expanded sports gaming nationally will keep people engaged.

I'd dare you to go check out a game at WKU, Murray State, Bellarmine, NKU, etc. Those schools are as engaged as ever. EKU will be once they get back playing. College basketball ain't just power conference schools.
 
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RomanOben

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Obviously don’t agree. You are seeing declining television ratings right now despite almost no live attendance and a pandemic that, in theory, should boost television programming. I’m not trying to burst your bubble, but enthusiasm for college basketball is at an all-time low.
 
Oct 14, 2017
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Obviously don’t agree. You are seeing declining television ratings right now despite almost no live attendance and a pandemic that, in theory, should boost television programming. I’m not trying to burst your bubble, but enthusiasm for college basketball is at an all-time low.
Huh? So because other sports are experiencing lower ratings, that means college basketball is dying? Like where is your proof? College Basketball his a decline once the Bird/Magic era brought the NBA ahead of it, but outside of your opinion, do you have any proof? Ratings/Attendance are on par with other sports declines in the new streaming era. Networks are still putting up BILLIONS for contracts. The NCAA title game & tournament have drawn better ratings every year in the early rounds.

There hasn't been declining ratings for college basketball because it hasn't been on TV. You're showing no proof that College Basketball is under any decline. The last national title game outrated the last NBA Finals. The NCAA tournament is still one of the biggest events in sports. The one and done stuff ending is better, as it shifts back to the coaches/programs being the stars. Players stay longer and viewers/fans can get more invested.

Enthusiasm for UofL is low because well, we haven't been out of the first weekend of the tournament since 2015. We self imposed one year. We fired Rick and missed. COVID caused this miss. We've had 2 major scandal. It's been rough, but just because enthusiasm is down here, does not mean it's down everywhere. The numbers do not show it one bit.

Ratings for college basketball were VERY HIGH in the 1980's into the 1990's. They dipped a bit in the early 2000's, and they've held steady ever since. The NBA became a bigger deal and took a chunk of the audience. But the NCAA title game regularly draws 20 million viewers and has for the last 20 years. The NBA Finals haven't been that consistent and the NCAA Football title does similar ratings.

We won't really know until COVID ends, but I doubt college basketball takes a hit.
 

KozmasAgain

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Sep 23, 2016
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I don’t think basketball will decline in popularity after the pandemic is over. It took a hit when the NBA started raiding the colleges early. The NBA was in trouble and that is why they started going after the talent after their freshmen year. It has diluted the talent pool and has taken away marquis matchups in college basketball.

That being said I still think there is a lot of enthusiasm for the college game. I don’t ever watch pro sports and I never will. The last time I watched a professional basketball game was when we had the Kentucky Colonels. I haven’t watched pro football since the late 70’s. If anything I think pro sports will take a big hit because they involved themselves in politics.
 
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Oct 14, 2017
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I don’t think basketball will decline in popularity after the pandemic is over. It took a hit when the NBA started raiding the colleges early. The NBA was in trouble and that is why they started going after the talent after their freshmen year. It has diluted the talent pool and has taken away marquis matchups in college basketball.

That being said I still think there is a lot of enthusiasm for the college game. I don’t ever watch pro sports and I never will. The last time I watched a professional basketball game was when we had the Kentucky Colonels. I haven’t watched pro football since the late 70’s. If anything I think pro sports will take a big hit because they involved themselves in politics.
The way the game is moving, it's slowly becoming less about the high school superstars that are crazy athletic. The guys who have developed their skills are starting to rise. Look at the Duke big men like Okafor, Parker, & Bolden or Dakari Johnson & Marcus Lee from UK. There's something about highly skilled guys. VJ King was a 5-star can't miss and Don Mitchell was a 4-star who didn't start as a freshman.

Look at the All-Star game this year.
College 2+ years were Kemba, Siakam, Lowry, Butler, Middleton, Sabonis, Harden, Kawhi, CP3, Westbrook, Lillard, & Don
One & Doners were Trae Young, Embiid, Simmons, Bam, Tatum, LeBron (HS), Davis, Ingram, & Booker
Foreign players were Giannis, Luka, Jokic, & Gobert

Not to mention Curry & Thompson were both out hurt and weren't One & Done. Ja Morant showed that a star can slip through the cracks. Look at a guy like Robinson on the Heat.

I think it's gonna be more about who can shoot at the next level, and college guys will have more in-game practice in higher pressure spots. That's why you see the NFL have such a strong league top to bottom. The players all have 3-5 years of college coming in, so they've had to be student-athletes and stay disciplined. They've been leaders on their own teams and they've been developed. By the time they get to the NFL, they're ready.

In college/pro, it's a guessing game. Sam Williamson was a lottery pick and we just wanted DJ to contribute & they flipped the script after one year. You can't tell who is gonna thrive outside of the few Zion Williamson types.

College will survive. Bring on more JJ Reddick, Kemba Walker, & Ja Morant type stars. Bring on more Russ Smith and Peyton Siva.
 

RomanOben

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Jan 1, 2020
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Huh? So because other sports are experiencing lower ratings, that means college basketball is dying? Like where is your proof? College Basketball his a decline once the Bird/Magic era brought the NBA ahead of it, but outside of your opinion, do you have any proof? Ratings/Attendance are on par with other sports declines in the new streaming era. Networks are still putting up BILLIONS for contracts. The NCAA title game & tournament have drawn better ratings every year in the early rounds.

There hasn't been declining ratings for college basketball because it hasn't been on TV. You're showing no proof that College Basketball is under any decline. The last national title game outrated the last NBA Finals. The NCAA tournament is still one of the biggest events in sports. The one and done stuff ending is better, as it shifts back to the coaches/programs being the stars. Players stay longer and viewers/fans can get more invested.

Enthusiasm for UofL is low because well, we haven't been out of the first weekend of the tournament since 2015. We self imposed one year. We fired Rick and missed. COVID caused this miss. We've had 2 major scandal. It's been rough, but just because enthusiasm is down here, does not mean it's down everywhere. The numbers do not show it one bit.

Ratings for college basketball were VERY HIGH in the 1980's into the 1990's. They dipped a bit in the early 2000's, and they've held steady ever since. The NBA became a bigger deal and took a chunk of the audience. But the NCAA title game regularly draws 20 million viewers and has for the last 20 years. The NBA Finals haven't been that consistent and the NCAA Football title does similar ratings.

We won't really know until COVID ends, but I doubt college basketball takes a hit.
College basketball ratings have tanked BEFORE any of this. That’s the point.
 

luv2hit63

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Jun 10, 2010
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Have not watched NBA for over 10 years. Not planning on watching anytime soon. The only time I watch the NFL is when LJ is playing and then I DVR and fast forward to when Baltimore is on offense. I do watch MLB especially during the playoffs.

As for college basketball, five years ago I would never miss a Louisville game. Now if I have nothing going on I will watch. I always try to watch the highlights Or catch the last few minutes of uk losing.
 
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yum center

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Mar 17, 2011
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I hardly watch anymore because of all the fouls that are being called. College basketball has turned into a free throw shooting contest because of it. That's pretty boring basketball.
 
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vivid_red

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Louisville
That being said I still think there is a lot of enthusiasm for the college game. I don’t ever watch pro sports and I never will. The last time I watched a professional basketball game was when we had the Kentucky Colonels. I haven’t watched pro football since the late 70’s. If anything I think pro sports will take a big hit because they involved themselves in politics.
[/QUOTE

Anyone who chooses to watch a game, or support a team, based on their political preferences is mentally immature. Such a " it's my way or the highway" attitude. Grow up. If you choose to swim in the pool with only those that agree 100% with you, you will soon find yourself swimming lonely and miserable.
 

RomanOben

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Jan 1, 2020
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No they haven’t?
I mean I’ve provided proof that the NCAA tournament ratings are continuing to be very strong.
Using the NCAA tournament ratings as proof is like using the Kentucky Derby ratings as proof that horse racing isn’t in decline. Essentially college basketball IS the NCAA tournament and no one gives two poops about the entirety of the regular season.
 
Oct 14, 2017
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Using the NCAA tournament ratings as proof is like using the Kentucky Derby ratings as proof that horse racing isn’t in decline. Essentially college basketball IS the NCAA tournament and no one gives two poops about the entirety of the regular season.
Ok so more money, higher TV ratings, but because attendance is down like every other sport it’s a big deal? I mean what proof are you using that it’s falling apart other than UofL hasn’t been good and you’ve personally lost interest? There has to be some sort of indicator.

Newsflash, the regular season hasn’t mattered in like 30 years. Once the tournament expanded to 64 teams, it’s not as big an event. But I see no change to the relevancy of the game compared to where it was in the year 2000 or 2005?

If millions of people are still watching the tournament every year and networks are paying billions to air it, it matters.

Try telling the student at Bellarmine it’s down. Tell the NKU fans it’s down.

I mean MLB baseball isn’t as relevant as it once was, but thats just because of how strong MLB once was. It’s still doing very well overall as a game.

College basketball has been pretty much the same since the Jordan era. College was pretty much the best basketball in the world,even sent our best to the olympics. But the NBA took off. It’s been the same the last 20 years.

You could say UofL isn’t drawing 20k a night, but what about UVA fans that are now more interested?
 

RomanOben

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Jan 1, 2020
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Ok so more money, higher TV ratings, but because attendance is down like every other sport it’s a big deal? I mean what proof are you using that it’s falling apart other than UofL hasn’t been good and you’ve personally lost interest? There has to be some sort of indicator.

Newsflash, the regular season hasn’t mattered in like 30 years. Once the tournament expanded to 64 teams, it’s not as big an event. But I see no change to the relevancy of the game compared to where it was in the year 2000 or 2005?

If millions of people are still watching the tournament every year and networks are paying billions to air it, it matters.

Try telling the student at Bellarmine it’s down. Tell the NKU fans it’s down.

I mean MLB baseball isn’t as relevant as it once was, but thats just because of how strong MLB once was. It’s still doing very well overall as a game.

College basketball has been pretty much the same since the Jordan era. College was pretty much the best basketball in the world,even sent our best to the olympics. But the NBA took off. It’s been the same the last 20 years.

You could say UofL isn’t drawing 20k a night, but what about UVA fans that are now more interested?
I would use two really basic metrics: declining attendance and declining TV ratings. Tournament ratings may be up or unchanged, but regular season ratings are abysmal. Moreover, the general consensus is that the game is played at a less skillful level than it was just 15-20 years ago when you had top players hanging around 3-4years before going pro. Outside ACC country, college basketball is a niche sport
 
Jan 20, 2011
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I'd argue all team sporting events are going downhill.

In the MLB starting Ps go 3-4 innings and there are pitching changes throughout the game that stall the action making games boring. NFL everybody gets hurt by midseason there's few stars left standing. The RB position used to be for stars now teams play 3-4 in a game and they are all similar in output one way or another. Anybody who may be a star is just going to get hurt or somehow become weak after a couple of years. The NBA is watered down. All pro sports guys change teams too often and stars take short cuts to titles in the NBA for sure. Boston broke out that big3 and it's never been the same.

College football it's the same teams every year pretty much battling in the playoff everybody else is booked for some junk bowl. College hoops 1 and done or if you are super lucky 2 and done makes it a drag the fan just can't get a real relationship with players because they are gone too soon and you can't watch them grow like the past. Now players are rightfully allowed to transfer whenever so programs simply have zero continuity leading to an obvious drop off in quality of product. How can a coach do any real coaching in this environment? They really can't, although it's good to have a sharp X n O's guy in the post season. The players are pretty much bought and paid for guys like Coach K I mean can you believe he went from mastermind to just a guy picking up a bunch of dudes for winter camp now. We know 1st hand the cheating at this level is through the roof yet only "some" programs get caught, making it even harder to really get too worked up about much of any of it.

So there you have it, on top of a virus and an isolated way of living we've got sports screwing up too.

Netflix and chill.
 

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