Sports that have 'entertainment value' have a definite advantage in the increasingly commercial world of sport and recreation. Activities that provide good entertainment value to spectators are keenly sought by television, pay TV and free-to-air TV. This in turn attracts big business. Australia has already witnessed the Rugby League wars fought at huge cost between rival Rugby League organisations backed by media moguls such as Kerry Packer and Rupert Murdoch.
For many sport and recreation organisations, such interest from television networks is perhaps an impossible dream. Although there is great satisfaction on the part of the participants, many sports lack some of the essential factors that determine entertainment value and miss out on the financial rewards.
There are a number of factors that determine the entertainment value of a sport.
These factors include:
Sports that condense fast paced action into a timeframe that is not too long for the spectator tend to prosper well. The timeframe is important. If the timeframe is too long, spectators may be reluctant to get involved. If the timeframe is too short, spectators may be unwilling to invest time and money.
Sports are more entertaining if the result is in doubt until the end.
Sports will have a greater following if the nation ranks well in the sport. A falling international ranking tends to have negative impact on the sports following. People like to back winners more than losers.
Sports will be more entertaining if competitors display physiques that can be described as sexy. There is an increasing tendency for competitor’s costumes to cover less flesh and where flesh is covered, the garment clings tight to the body and hides little.
Every sport has its good guys and bad guys. In the Tennis world, Ilie Nastase and John McEnroe were often considered bad guys however they were players that the crowds flocked to watch.
There are many sports where the participant "disappears" or where it is diffult for TV cameras to follow. However advances in Technology have made a great difference through miniaturised cameras and/or cameras mounted on Unmanned Rotary Vehicles (UAVs).
Excitement is magnified when it is shared and the excitement in a large crowd can be contagious. Sports try hard to manufacture a carnival atmosphere by all manner of means including pre-game and half-time entertainment
People like to see closely-fought "Titanic" struggles, where larger than life characters battle it out to the last ounce of energy. Boxing and Tennis come to mind