No one expects to watch sports commercial-free. But has in-game advertising during this year's World Series crossed the line?
1. Uncharted Advertising Territory?
As if mid-inning, split-screen advertisements for Wendy's and behind-the-plate ads weren't enough, MLB.com now refers to the Fall Classic as the "World Series presented by YouTube TV." Craig Calcaterra thinks we've reached a tipping point.
What I think is the final straw, as a journalist anyway, is editorial content on MLB.com. The writers and reporters who work there, all of which are wonderful, I'm a big fan of most of their work, are now referring to the World Series on first, second, third and every other reference as the "World Series presented by YouTube." This is inevitable. We're in a world where advertising is all over the place. We can't escape it. We'd be naive to think so. But I really think this is the first time that it has interfered with my enjoyment of the game. And if someone as jaded and horrible as me is actually upset about something like this, I can't imagine what people who actually believe in good things in the world think.
2. Thursday Night Football Stinks...Or Does It?
Thursday Night Football has often been viewed as the NFL's lesser product. And with ratings down, some TV executives have called on the league to dial back the over-saturation. At the same time, some of the closest games this season have been played on Thursdays. Charlotte Wilder finds delight in the conundrum of Thursday Night Football.
The games are trash. The games are, like, if you went to a restaurant, and then went into the alley behind the restaurant and were, like, "Oh, here's a dumpster. Maybe I'll get in it and stay here for 3 1/2 hours." ... The slogan this year was, "Get prepared for Thursday Night Football: when it's on, it's on." And I was, like, 'You have got to be kidding me. The best thing that you could come up with to say about your product is that when it's happening, it's happening?' That is incredible. I just lost it.
3. Is Bridge A Sport?
Last week, the European Court of Justice handed down a controversial ruling about the card game, bridge. The Court said that because bridge does not contain a "significant element of physical activity," it cannot be classified as a sport. Bill Littlefield thinks the ruling is unfair.
It does seem to me to be incredibly arbitrary. ... "What about shuffling and dealing and squirming around in your seat? And what about when you get up to stretch and your foot has fallen asleep and you stumble around trying to wake it up?" That is physical activity, and there's a certain amount of danger involved in it as well. So, I just think it was arbitrary, and I don't know where this stops. Will they next say that shuffleboard is not a sport? And what about if you're playing shuffleboard for a whole lot of money and you sweat, because you don't want to lose? It just seems to me outrageous, and I hope that it's appealed.
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This segment aired on October 28, 2017.