American television is worth billions of dollars. Let me rephrase that. Advertising revenue on American television is worth billions of dollars. Networks do not just want to leave live programming up to chance. There’s too much money at stake. That’s why Reality based shows are scripted, and since the early 90’s, I believe, sports has been influenced.
This blog isn’t about the details of how pro sports can rig a game and the ways are many. Instead, it’s just a short timeline to help to begin to open you mind to the possibilities. Let’s begin.
January 11, 1993 Monday Night Raw debuts for the WWF
Vince McMahon takes Pro Wrestling to Prime Time and show cases scripted sports entertainment for the masses and it’s an instant hit. Big Bucks and the outcomes of the matches are already determined.
February 1993 – Gary Bettman is named Commissioner of the NHL. It’s a title he still holds today. He comes over from the NBA where he served under the Commissioner there. Also, The Montreal Canadiens win their 24th Stanley Cup but are the last Canadian team to win the Championship to date. Sports advertising revenue being what it is, is anyone surprised.
Since the NBA’s Toronto and Vancouver teams only began in 1995 they don’t really factor yet. Of course Vancouver moved to Memphis and the Raptors have never made it to the finals. Just saying. Also, there is no Canadian team in the NFL. Toronto is the fifth largest television market in North America and they haven’t expanded there yet. Shame. That leaves us with MLB’s Toronto Blue Jays.
Forget for a second that Montreal’s Expos never got to the World Series and moved to Washington a few years back, the Blue Jays have been arguably the most frustrating to watch. Yes two World series titles in 1992 and… 1993. There’s that year year again. As you know 1994 saw both the Jays and Expos a top their respective leagues. How did MLB stop these two from meeting in the World Series? They cancelled the rest of the season blaming a labour dispute. Convenient, no? The Expos left La Belle Province and the Jays took 22 years to rebuild.
These events that rolled out in 1993 were just the beginning of what I believe to be the leagues and the networks that show the games controlling the outcome to maximise revenue dollars.
I maybe right, I maybe wrong, I maybe crazy. But hopefully, I’ve made you think just for a moment, that not everything maybe as it seems when it comes to your favourite sport. ~Bill