Messing with a Good Thing?

Will the XFL come to be known in the future as the New Coke of the professional sport industry? It did last longer than 77 days (although for all intents and purposes it was dead after three weeks), though it did cost McMahon et al. considerably more than the $35 million Coca-Cola shelled out in 1985.

Though the XFL had slick packaging and the marketing whallop of the WWF, fans were never willing to suspend their disbelief for football — one of the most hallowed institutions in American society — the same way they were for wrestling, a sport the general public had never followed seriously anyways.

The WWF's partner in this venture, NBC Sports, chalked up another dinger in their list of recent bad decisions. (Update: they lost the rights to the NBA as well.) What's interesting to the sport media enthusiast, though, is how the NBC's XFL broadcasts pushed the envelope of sports broadcasting. They had carte blanche to try new things — watch more than a few of their innovations appear on rival networks in the near future.

Today's lesson: XFL football, bad…sport media, good…um, tacky…I mean, innovative.


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