Commercial sports are visible parts of many contemporary societies. Their growth is associated with urbanization, industrialization, improvements in transportation and communications technology, the availability of capital resources, and class relations.
People’s interest in paying to watch sports is encouraged by a quest for excitement in highly organized and controlled societies, a cultural emphasis on individiual success, widely available youth sport programs and extensive media coverage of sports.
The recent expansion of commercial sports also has been fueled by sport organizations seeking global markets, as well as transnational corporations using sports as vehicle for global expansion. The global expansion of commercial sports will continue as long as it serves the interest of transnational corporation.
Commercialization has influenced changes in the structure and goals of certain sports, the orientations of people involved in sports, and organization that control sports. Those connected with commercial sports tends to emphasize heroic orientations over aesthetic orientations. Style and dramatic expression impress mass audiences, whereas fine distinctions in ability often are overlooked, except by those who have deep knowledge about a particular sport. Overall, commercial sports have been packaged as total entertainment experiences for spectators, even spectators who know little about the games or events they are watching.
Commercial sports are unique businesses. At the minor league level, most of them do not generate substantial revenues for owners and sponsors, in fact they are risky businesses. However, team owners at the top levels of profesional sports have worked together to make their leagues into effective entertainment monopolies.
Along with event sponsors and promoters, these owners are involved with commercial sports to make money while having fun and establishing good public images for themselves or their corporations and it’s products, policies, and practices.
Commercialization has made athletes entertainers. Athletes generate revenues through their performances. Therefore, issues related to players rights and the sharing of the revenues generated by their performances have become very important. As rights and revenues have increased, so have players incomes. Media money has been key in this process.
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