Mark Cuban, media entrepreneur and owner of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks, recently broke down his take on sports media in “What’s the Role of Media for Sports Teams?” The post should have been called “Who I Do and Don’t Want in My Locker Room.”
He ruffled some feathers, obviously. Sports media don’t like being told their role. They hate relinquishing power, and when the power is gone, they often don’t know it.
Regardless of Cuban’s “newspapers are okay, paid bloggers sometimes aren’t” misfire, a more important issue is at play. Once again it’s media bypass. Media need to be paying attention. More and more media are being viewed as expendable. Media realize their importance; most educated people realize the importance. I argue an increasing number of the public couldn’t give a damn, or doesn’t realize they should give a damn.
NFL Network is five times better covering the NFL than ESPN. MLB Network hasn’t found the right chemistry yet, but it will. And you can’t find better pro golf analysis over the airwaves than Golf Channel.
If media want to survive, they need to find new ways to remain relevant. And they are trying. But stop assuming media have some God-given right to cover the Golden State Warriors vs. the Sacramento Kings. It’s not government. It’s private enterprise. Cuban and professional sports leagues can do what they want. It’s their money, their property, their power.