The music industry has been slowly dying. It is not just sales, but actual effects and stature. Fragmentation killed it. Sports on the other hand, besides football, are suffering as well. Baseball attendance is even down, and ratings are down. The NBA crows about a recent upswing yet is still not near the '90s peak. The story is the same for the NHL. Atomization, diversity and commercialization have hurt sports, but another problem was the attempt to market sports as entertainment in the manner of Hollywood.
Hollywood's system was built by Lew Wasserman. Connected to mobsters, he could get union help when needed, but he saw the importance of controlling the "talent". The talent drove box office receipts, which pre-VHS era was the means of making money. Wasserman's system lasted decades, but the idea still lives on that the star puts butts in the seats. Sports sadly copied this, but did not have the vision or experience of Hollywood. The star system can pull in marginal fans for ratings, but team loyalty is still the real driver. No sport has suffered from this more than the NBA. The NBA was the late comer to the sports media push with Finals games still on tape delay even in 1980 compared to mega World Series network ratings and the Super Bowl. The fatal flaw the NBA made was making the league all about Jordan in the '90s.
Jordan never losing a Finals hurt because he never had a rival or someone the league could market as an equal. Without that rival, the marketing was all about Jordan doing the amazing to win, again. The problem came when the music stopped. The search for the "next Jordan" became so pathetic that children could see the blatant pushing. The NBA has not reached Jordan ratings since his departure despite having the ESPN hype machine as its marketing arm for a decade and big market teams in Finals. The fact that the NBA has more publicity amd talk around where Lebron amd Carmelo will go in free agency than the actual playoffs (which had some great games) is a symptom of the league being a soap opera more than a sport.
Sports cannot be run like the movies and television. Different audiences, and sports fans will not tune in for a third rate product unlike "Beverly Hills Chihuahua" or the Bruckheimer-Bay movies. Whether the collegiate alma mater feeling, the family connections of who taught you how to play the game or simply hometown loyalty, sports are more tribal. Yes, fans cheer for the clothing as Jerry Seinfeld put it, but that laundry comes with history. Pittsburgh Steelers fans will always talk defense. Yankees fans believe in mystique and aura. The Packers are just a small town multimillion dollar business. That's what sports are built on. Building a sport on a handful semi-literate criminals is no way of running a sport, let alone a business.
*** If you dislike the sports posts, my apologies, but my Monday-Tuesday posts usually are linked by subject. Go back and see the pattern.