Binge Watching Sports

Binge Watching Sports

The third season of House of Cards will be released by Netflix on February 27, 2015. The popular series featuring Kevin Spacey as Frank Underwood has been eagerly awaited by fans. Many of whom will watch multiple shows in one sitting in a practice known as binge watching (or binge viewing).

Binge watching began in the 1980’s when networks developed marathon programming featuring a succession of episodes of one show scheduled back-to-back.  It picked up more practitioners in the 90’s when complete sets of TV shows were released on video.  And, it really has hit its stride with the success of online media services like NetFlix, Prime and Hulu, where viewers can watch shows on demand – and frequently do.

Is binge watching a part of the sports world? You better believe it.

When you can’t get enough of Sports

Here are just a few examples of binge watching sports:

  • College football bowl games – The Tournament of Roses football game was first played in 1916. Since then, may bowl games have been added. There’s something about watching successive bowl games on New Year’s Day that makes it feel like a deep binge. “Bowl” games derive their name from the fact that early stadiums were constructed in a bowl-like fashion.
  • World Cup soccer matches – Since the first tournament in 1930, the World Cup has been played every 4 years except in ’42 and ’46 because of WWII. Fútbol fans worldwide are happy to have the opportunity to watch game after game during the tournament.
  • The Olympics – Ok, the Olympic games might have every event beat from a first binge viewing opportunity in sports perspective having officially started in 1896. The scope of the Summer Olympics is impressive:  Some 200 nations competing, 10,000 competitors and some 300 events.
  • The NCAA basketball tournament – They call it “March Madness” for a reason. Lots of games in a condensed amount of time, combined with a lose-and-go-home finality, makes for exciting viewing.
  • Thanksgiving NFL games – The Lions, the Cowboys and one more. After binging on a turkey dinner, many of us binge on some football action.
  • ESPN – If there were any doubts about binge watching happening in sports, they should’ve ended in 1979 when ESPN first aired. At the time, imagining  a network that only featured sports seemed like a stretch. But, as ESPN succeeds and continues to offer additional sports-devoted channels to the mix, sports binge watchers have even more reasons to rejoice.

ESPN logo

So, as Oscar Wilde wrote, “Everything in moderation, including moderation.” Have fun watching the bowl games over the holidays – there looks to be some great ones.