Jock-o-sphere: venues add gizmos to compete

Sun, Oct 3

As in no other time in American sports history, fans are set up pretty well at home.

Devin Hester
Jonathan Daniel/Getty ImagesThe Bears are one of 12 NFL teams offering FanVision at their home stadiums, Devin Hester not included.

High-definition TV-- with 3-D coming on strong -- has allowed for unprecedented viewing quality from your couch.

And in a U.S. economy in which some fans have curtailed their spending, and ticket prices are often rising, teams are now finding themselves in direct competition with TV.

It's the stadium seat versus the couch.

Earlier this month, CNBC sports business reporter Darren Rovell wrote about the idea of the death of the season ticket, noting that TV, as well as the secondary ticket market, has hurt NFL season-ticket sales.

"What is certain is that the depletion of the season ticket base is a reality and teams -- especially NFL teams who rely on season ticket sales more than any other league -- who are slow to evolve will pay for it later," he wrote.

The NFL is aware.

In August, shortly before the start of the 2010 NFL season, commissioner Roger Goodell acknowledged the challenge of keeping fans in the seats while also giving them an exciting experience in the age of technology.

"Kids are consuming three or four different media at once," Goodell said, according to the Tampa Tribune. "That is the future. We can't ignore technology and we can't ignore innovations. We've got to lead. That's what the NFL is doing, leading.''

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