The modern sports media seems to concentrate almost as much of the follow-up of a sporting occasion as it does with the build up. Sports such as baseball and American football have always been statistic-heavy, with enormous emphasis placed upon raw data when it comes to appraising the quality of athletes and team performance. Over the last couple of decades, this has slowly encroached into what may be considered more ‘romantic’ sports such as football, rugby, and cricket, making the post-match analysis often a debate of its own.
One of the key reasons for the increased prominence of post-match analysis is because of the way we consume our sports media. Millions of fans check out the sports news online – often several times a day – using their smartphones, and where there is web traffic there is simply a demand for fresh content. For example, you could just be browsing the web looking for some Grand National Betting Offers and within a click or two find yourself on racing sites that go to enormous detail assessing the form from previous races. The same is the case for football, with the fallout from the showcase Sunday EPL games often stretching well into the week.
Why can we attribute this excitement over post-match/occasion analysis to the mobile age? It is not just due to the aforementioned amount of web traffic that comes with easy 24-hour access to sports media. An equally important role has been sports fans taking a broader interest in other sports. Not too long ago it was pretty difficult for example for fans to follow overseas football leagues. What little coverage was broadcast tended to be magazine style highlights shows which filled the gaps with plenty of speculation and analysis of the fallout from the weeks matches.
Nowadays that old-fashioned level of coverage simply isn’t good enough. All of the leading online sports networks will have frequently updated sections on their websites showing not just highlights, but also offering expert analysis from the league itself. It is no longer a rarity for supporters to follow one or more ‘other’ team playing in a foreign league, and with that comes an expectation for an equivalent standard of post-match reporting and analysis as they enjoy with their domestic competition.
As European competitions have expanded and become more important than ever, fans pay attention to how overseas rivals are performing (for example Barcelona and Real Madrid match reports/news is a headline feature for BBC sports coverage). All of this has made it no longer a rarity to walk into any pub in the country and not overhear a discussion about overseas team’s playing styles, recent results, and comparison between teams.
This level of information and analysis is available 24/7 and a majority of sports phones use their phones to access this data. The amount of time a typical sports fan may spend checking out reviews from the most recent matches mounts up to a staggering amount over the course of a week. A speculative U.S study of their sports fans estimated that the average sports fan spends 52 minutes a day checking out sports news and reports – not including actually watching matches/events. Mobile now has the leading market share for how this information is reviewed, which over the course of a year adds up to hundreds of hours just checking out the sports news and analysis.
For the sports media industry, this is boom times and the expansion it has enjoyed worldwide in recent years is little short of phenomenal. The additional revenue generated by advertising has allowed networks and online resources to employ hundreds of expert pundits (including many former athletes) all eager to add their opinions to the after-action analysis and debate. As long as sports fans continue to gobble up this level of match reporting on their mobiles, it’ll only continue to grow especially as market exposure continues to rise across Africa, South America, and East Asia.
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