Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Champ of Champs: Which Championship Game is the Best?

1896 Baltimore Orioles official team photo, in...Image via Wikipedia

Each of the major North American sporting leagues (football, hockey, baseball, and basketball) does its best to promote its championship as the most exciting, entertaining, enjoyable sports experience that any viewer could hope to experience. However, they obviously can’t all be right, can they?

From a purely marketing perspective, the SuperBowl is the clear winner. Based on the single-game nature of the SuperBowl, everything surrounding the event has become almost as important as the championship game itself. The NFL has convinced millions of non-sports fans to watch a major sporting event purely for the commercials. This has allowed them to charge whatever prices they want for advertising time. It is also impossible to argue with the raw number of people who view the SuperBowl every year.

However, if people spend more time the next day talking about the commercials than the actually game itself, can it be considered the best, or most successful? Also, while the single game nature of the NFL championship is extremely exciting, one game prevents a great deal of the drama and evolving storylines that makes many of the other leagues championships so amazing.

From a purely historical standpoint, Major League Baseball seems to have the strongest claim when it comes to championship games. Unfortunately, age and adherence to the past have left baseball a slow, boring game in the eyes of many sports fans. Unless a major city is involved in the October competition, attendance and television ratings are the lowest of any of the major sports.

The NBA recently enjoyed one its most successful post seasons ever in terms of ticket sales and television ratings. This culminated in near record numbers for the NBA finals. The seven game, alternating location format of the championship series allows for levels of strategic complication and planning unavailable in the NFL with its single game championship. Star power and player accessibility is allowing the NBA to challenge the NFL when it comes to superiority in the hearts and televisions of many Americans.

Sadly, the NHL is not currently in a position where it can challenge any of the other major sports leagues in terms of financial success or popularity, at least not south of the Canadian border. Only a few years removed from a lockout, and with numerous teams struggling to fill arenas, the Stanley Cup Finals may be an exciting event for diehard fans, but it is doomed to ratings obscurity.

From a strict numbers perspective, the SuperBowl is the clear winner among North American championship games, breaking U.S. television records in 2011 with an average of 111 million viewers. Though even adding the total number of viewers over the six games of the NBA finals together only yields a total viewership of just under 103 million people, the NBA numbers have been steadily rising over the last several years, leading to a potential succession in the coming years. Sadly, baseball and hockey both lag far behind.

Amber Tate is a sports fanatic but loves saving money more. Her Kanetix life insurance policy provides all of the benefits necessary for her family.

2 comments:

  1. Really this is good champion..and this is good topic for championship..it is so interesting..

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  2. Much fun and you can't imagine how that is happen. Well, that is definitely an adventure and is jealous.
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