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On Television, HDTV, and Sports

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I think soccer's going to make it in the USA. I used to doubt it, but now I believe it. I don't think it'll be at the detriment of college football around here, but I believe in the expansion of soccer. Also hockey.

So what gives? Why two sports that seem to be almost self-marginalizing instead of a stalwart like baseball? Well, soccer and hockey are the two sports that are best served by being shown in high-definition, whereas football will always be football. But seriously, what television and PPV technology were for boxing, I think HDTV will eventually be for hockey and major league soccer. The difference between those two sports and, say, baseball is that baseball's pretty easy to follow even in standard definition. Soccer? Not so much. Hockey? The puck's so difficult to follow on an old television that Fox tried to superimpose graphics onto it, and they damn near killed the entire sport.

More to the point of why this is on a Hawkeyes website, though--aside from the obvious fact that Samsung is sponsoring this post--is technology's effect on the gameday experience. We're at the point now that watching a game at home is, depending on what your top priority for the experience might be, arguably better than watching at the stadium itself. The replays are quicker, the shots are varied, and the amount of information put forth might be borderline excessive. There are people in production trucks, several of them, all with the intent of enhancing your experience. In the stadium, you're there, and that's basically what you get--the view and angle in front of you and whatever gets put on the Jumbotron. This isn't to discourage any of you from buying tickets or attending the games, of course; my priorities are a little different than most other fans (and I'm not saying that to brag, I assure you--I envy every single tailgater every weekend). But the fact is that thanks to technology, a televised game provides a much more varied and complete experience than at the game itself.  Whether that makes it better is a point of personal opinion; I think it does.

What say you, friends?