port 2.0- crumbling traditions create a whole new ballgame
London 2012 opening ceremony of Danny Boyle eviscerated any persistent public cynicism while the arrival of Britain’s team and coverage of Arctic Monkeys Beatles Comeled pushed everyone into the Olympic stadium. Now, as the screams and waves of intense noise finally collapse, Sebastian Coe, the organizer of the Games, seeks to encourage millions to appreciate the unique power of sport.
“There is a truth to the sport,” he insists. “A purity, a drama, intensity – a spirit that makes it irresistible to participate and that forces you to look.”
Can you feel: when the sport was clean? But at that moment, the words of the Coe prophecy instantly demonstrated. That night, Britain then submerged in an Olympic finger for 16 days.
The figures are extraordinary. Almost 49 million mobile phones see the opening and closing. More than 17 million see Usain Bolt with the men’s final 100 meters. And another 12 million cheer to see homemade Super Saturday while Greg Rutherford, Jessica Ennis-Hill and Mo Farah win the gold in 47 minutes the tympanometry crack. That night, a joke turns viral on Twitter. “A ginger, mixed female and a single Somali refugee enter a bar – and everyone invites them to a drink.”
Through London – clumsy, manic, head down to London – everyone seems to wear a permanent smile on their face, as if the serotonin is pumped into the water supply. In the Guardian, Jonathan Freedland even ask if the Games could “mark the end of the era of Britain’s decline.” In the midst of such boundless joy, it seems quite reasonable.
Coe, however, was right. Sport has had that special ability to unite, delight and inspire.
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Reel forward five years, however, and the image is not so steep. There were shocking revelations of cheating in Russia sponsored by the state, according to Canadian law professor Richard McLaren, “corrupted the London Olympics on an unprecedented scale” – while the sordid tales of corruption in the halls of FIFA and the International Association of Athletics Federations would put a banana republic into shame.
Meanwhile, the sport does not seem so convincing to see, either. In the United States, ESPN’s subscriber base has gone from 100 million in 2011 to 88 million according to the latest Nielsen ratings. Meanwhile, Cielo, which spends £ 4.2 billion a year to show 126 Premier League games, has seen its average live television viewing by 14% compared to last season.
Increasingly, viewers want shorter, sharper and biting entertainment on mobile devices. No wonder some of them are trying to redesign their products to avoid being seen as boring and outdated.