The Olympics in Brazil could be devastated by doping scandals and bad environmental conditions.
Sports is big business, and apparently, it is only going to get bigger, despite the best efforts of the athletes themselves to hinder the marketing and promotional efforts.
The National Basketball Association begins a new contract with ESPN and Turner Sports this upcoming season on a nine-year deal worth $24 billion. Meanwhile, NBA players conspire with each other to create two or three super teams and keep the other 28 franchises begging for attention.
For the National Football League, it is in the midst of a deal with Fox, CBS, ESPN and NBC, in which it will make $3.1 billion every season. Meanwhile, NFL players can’t seem to stop beating up their wives and girlfriends, when they are not stealing things or taking performance-enhancing drugs.
Major League Baseball has $12.4 billion coming in annually from Fox, TBS and ESPN, while players get suspended for 50 or 100 games for PEDs, get mad at other players who say they should be having more fun on the field, or get into actual fistfights when a player hits a dramatic home run and celebrates it.
The money just continues to flow. Nothing, it appears, will stop the financial progress of these leagues.
Unless the Olympics competitions come to an end.
The 2016 Summer Games in Brazil are set to take place this summer in Rio de Janeiro and other sites around the country. The sports that are taking place in the ocean are going to be unwatchable due to the condition of the brackish water around the shore, contaminated with plastic and human waste.
Everyone attending the games, athletes and fans alike, has to take care not to be bitten by a mosquito unless they are willing to suffer from the Zika virus.
And now, in a case of really bad timing, Olympic officials announced that 31 athletes were on performance enhancing drugs during the 2008 Games in Beijing and those athletes could be barred from competing in Brazil. Many of the athletes are expected to be from Russia, which has been caught conducting a system-wide doping exercise in which clean urine samples were substituted for athlete samples with the compliance of someone on the Olympic testing committee during the 2014 Winter Games.
The International Olympic Committee has suggested entire countries could be banned from the upcoming games due to the report. Another report is expected in a few days from the 2012 competition in London as well.
There are a lot of nervous people with an Olympic mindset these days, and perhaps the most nervous are executives at NBC, which paid $7.65 billion for 16 days of programing every two years between now and 2032. Are those games going to be worth watching this summer, and if not, how will that effect the following events NBC has the rights to for the next 14 years?
Can the Olympics go on without the Big Bad Russians? Would Americans watch if there is no one to root against?
Are Americans on the list of athletes the IOC plans to release? Could America be banned from the Games?
Most people believe that fans who enjoy Olympic competitions will still watch, but it is uncertain whether the average fan will be drawn to watered down games. Finally, a national broadcast company could pay the price for the misbehavior of the athletes they paid dearly to cover.
Kent McDill is a staff writer for Millionaire Corner. McDill spent 30 years as a sports writer, working for United Press International and the Daily Herald of Arlington Heights, Ill. From 1988-1999, he covered the Chicago Bulls for the Daily Herald, traveling with them every day through the nine-month season. He also covered the Bulls for UPI from 1985-88, and currently covers the team for www.nba.com. He has written two books on the Bulls, including the new title “100 Things Bulls Fans Should Know And Do Before They Die’, published by Triumph Books. In August 2013, his new book “100 Things Bears Fans Should Know And Do Before They Die” gets published.
In 2008, he resigned from the Herald and became a freelance writer. The Herald hired him to write business features and speeches for the Daily Herald Business Conferences and Awards presentations.
McDill also writes a monthly parenting column for the Herald’s Suburban Parent magazine.
McDill is the father of four children, and an active fan of soccer, Jimmy Buffett and all things Disney.