The sports siphoning issue could resurface with DirecTV's planned exclusive deal with major league baseball for an out-of-market package similar to the NFL Ticket deal.
But having watched some of TNT's pre-NBA All Star Game coverage over the weekend, maybe there are some events that are just as well siphoned off somewhere else.
Watching the introductions to the rookie vs. sophomre made-for TV event Friday night, I can say without reservation, which I won't be making at the all-star game any time soon, that it was the sullenest, most insouciant group of overpaid game players I have ever seen. Not a smile in the crowd, for the crowd, among all those bling-blinged millionares. No "lucky to be here thanks for supporting my lifestyle" grins for the people who make it all possible, us. Not even a faked smirk for all of us saps. Just a "why must I put myself through this" grimace and even an occasional glare. Ok, there was one half-smile and a goofy mugging for the camera incident. But that was it.
This is a particularly star-less all-star game anyway with the withdrawl of some top players because of injury, but if the league wanted to get us excited by any of the new players, it would have been advised to advise them to pretend for the TV audience that they were going to have fun.
The first glimmer of hope was the slam dunk competition Saturday night, where a couple of the players actually seemed to be having fun, but it was not enough to make me want to watch the game Sunday night, which I didn't.
Pay me millions to play a game and see how much I can smile, even if sometimes I have to expend a little effort to do it.
By John Eggerton
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