2020 was a bust for professional sports

One would have likely predicted that, given what has happened with the coronavirus, professional sports would have had a massive year. But, it turns out that the opposite is true.

Breitbart reports that just about every major professional sport experienced ratings and revenue losses in 2020. Is it possible that Americans don’t like wokeness with their sports?

Let’s start with viewership

Front Office Sports has reported on the viewership numbers that have been released by the Morning Consult. 

According to the Morning Consult, all of the year’s big sporting events saw a massive decline in viewership. The NBA finals, for example, saw a 49 percent dropoff, the NHL’s Stanley Cup saw a 60 percent dropoff, the PGA’s U.S. Open, a 56 percent dropoff, and Tenis’s U.S. Open, a 45 percent dropoff.

The NFL Superbowl has yet to happen which is why the football numbers were not included. But, Breitbart reports that the NFL has witnessed at least a seven percent decline in ratings from last year.

Based on the trends, it would be fair to expect that the NFL final will also see a big dip.

Over to revenue

Front Office Sports has also reported on the revenue loss that professional sports have experienced in 2020.

According to the outlet, the NFL “stands to lose $2.7 billion,” the MLB “lost $5.2 billion,” the NHL’s “revenue dropped by $630 million,” professional soccer and its clubs “lost $1 billion,” and the NBA “missed projections by $1.5 billion.”

It ought to be noted, at least in the case of the NBA, that the league had significantly lowered its projected earnings given the circumstances of 2020. And yet, the league still missed those projections by $1.5 billion.

What is going on?

It is likely that a number of factors are at play here. In the case of viewership, for example, there is no denying that more people watch sports today on streaming services than ever before, and the reported viewership numbers only take into account television viewership.

And, in the case of revenue, one can’t ignore the fact that stadiums in professional sports have been kept empty due to coronavirus restrictions.

But, one can’t help but suspect that one of the major reasons why professional sports has struggled this year is because they decided to “go woke” following the death of George Floyd. People watch sports to be entertained, not to be told that they are racist. It will be interesting to see how professional sports respond next year, but I won’t be there to find out.

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