Why don't American news shows have sports ?

Is it nation(kingdom?)wide news? Our local sports coverage tend not to overlap, even when teams are geographically close or even when teams are in the same state yet geographically separated (such as Buffalo,NY and NYC teams). While the Yankees and the Red Sox have arguably the greatest US rivalry in sports, NY local sports coverage does not cover Red Sox games (unless it is late in the season and the teams are vying for a playoff spot), nor does the rivaly get much, if any, play on a national show. There’s little general interest and those who are interested can watch a channel devoted to sports, which cover everything. There will be some national coverage of exhibition games played in Europe (American football) and Japan (baseball), though. Perhaps it aslo has something to do with the sheer number of sports news outlets. Metropolitan areas, in addition to national sports channels, will also have a regional sports channel, plus every local news station (usually 4-5) will have a sports team. As I stated, living in NYC, I get 13 sports channels. Plus, nothing will cause even sports fans to dive for their remotes faster than a recap of a Kansas City Royals baseball game (especially if you are from Kansas City).

I’d like to also add that the audience of the shows listed in the OP, demographically, are poor targets for sports news. CNN Headline News does have a sports highlight segment; I can’t speak to FOX and MSNBC morning shows. CNN American Morning tends not to cover sports.

When I was growing up near Cleveland Ohio, the local news would give all the scores of Major League Baseball in the summer. Here in Connecticut now, we get only the scores of the Yankees, Mets, and Red Sox (That’s New York, New York, and Boston our closest Major League cities). Generally speaking, I’ve found that those in the New York area (and to a lesser extent Boston) care only what happens to their local team. This may just be a difference in time rather than location though.

for example. Here in Denver the local news sports report is about 8 minutes long or so usually.

This time of year we get up to two minutes of nation interest sports headline news. Big football signings, Bonds home run chase/steriod scandel. Such and such retired, or got arrested etc.

Then two minutes on the Rockies game.

Maybe 15 seconds each on other local teams,(Soccer, lacross, college games etc). or major events like the Masters. The USA world cup soccer team will fit in this category).

Then a two minute report on Broncos training camp (Broncos are the big boy of sports here, so they get more coverage in the off season than anything else gets in the regular season).

Then a quick readthrough of other major sports scores that are not local (“Yankees over Blue jays 8 to 6, Red sox beat the Devil rays 2 to 1”)

No, I meant “Better luck seeing the World Cup when you next visit Mars, 'cause it’s more likely to happen there than here.”

Note your qualifiers there … late stagesdirectly affect.

Enough of which people are interested? In the country? Or the people watching that particular news program?

And what we’re saying is that in the United States, when the Boston Red Sox play the New York Yankees, which is a northeastern local feud, most people in the United States don’t care about it. It’s a cultural difference. And when the U.S. team goes to the world cup of baseball (whatever it’s called) and competes with teams from all around the world, nobody cares.

This is a complex social issue, after all. There isn’t going to be just one reason. I think we can add up all the reasons given in this thread to give us an answer:

  1. Casual American sports fans, and thus, their local television stations, concentrate on the day-to-day fortunes of their local clubs only. They aren’t interested in the overall results until the championship rolls around. So the local media cover the local clubs on a day-to-day basis. Sports interest is so localised that the news outlets in one city won’t even cover the day-to-day results for clubs (except perhaps for a quick flash of the scores) in a nearby city, even if there is a hot rivalry, until the end of the season and only then if the two clubs are in contention for the championship.

  2. The general national media don’t cover sports at all until the end of the season, when, generally, they just spend a few seconds on the result. If there is some overarching national, social or cultural issue that is implicated in sports, the national media will cover it, but not day-to-day results.

  3. Serious American sports fans have available to them the dedicated sports news media that serve their needs. They wouldn’t be satisfied with just a fraction of a 30-minute or one-hour news broadcast, anyway.

  4. Viewers of morning news shows like the “Today” show and “Good Morning America” tend to be older women or stay-at-home mothers and tend not to be interested in sports news.

  5. Viewers of “serious” news programmes like PBS’s “Newshour” tend not to be interested in sports news. (And those interested in sports news tend not to be interested in serious news programmes.)

Perhaps, but as stated above, the US is absolutely HUGE when compared to England. If you had a national news program talking about every region’s scores, in every single sport and the like, you wouldn’t have time for everything else. Plus, some cities are more hardcore than others. Take Pittsburgh-when it comes to football, we bleed black and gold. The Steelers aren’t just a team, they’re a religion. Now, they made national news this year when they won the AFC championship for the first time in 10 years and then when they won the Super Bowl for the first time since 1980. Huge news. How many team franchises do you have in England compared to those in the US? Big difference.

(Oh, btw, the Super Bowl rings have come in! Gaudy as hell, with the five Lombardi trophies in diamonds and the Steeler’s logo on to top of that. Bettis and Roethlisberger designed them. Go Steelers!!!)


[slight highjack]

Is there an Aussie equivalent of our local news? IOW does Melbourne and Darwin and Perth and Sydney each have ~2ish hours of daily local news (Usually in the Evening and then a half hour at 11 PM - of which approx 20ish% might be sports) along with National News broadcasts?

Yes, we’re a big country, but not quite that big. It’s more like 5,000 km, rounding to the nearest thousand.

Or a more precise 4,693 km, between Portland and NYC, according to here. That’s assuming no stops at Denny’s along the way.

What if the US team starts to look like it might win? I remember they did rather well last time.

Won’t matter. The only time anybody showed the slightest interest in soccer was when Brandy Chastain took off her shirt. Otherwise…yawn. It’s like having the World Championship in Water Polo. 1 in 100,000 has even heard of the sport.

Here’s what I want to know – since when are Good Morning America, the Today show, and Jim Lehrer broadcasting in Australia? Or did you see those shows when travelling abroad? Do those shows actuallty have a big following in Oz?

I’m hoping this works equally well in an Australian context: it’s like if one of our athletes has a shot at the race-walking bronze medal in the next Olympics.

I’m not positive that this is universal in the US, but here’s how our morning news works. From 6-7am WMUR shows the local news. Sports takes up a not insignificant amount of time as they ramble on about the pro sports and even the…what do you call teams like the Paw-Sox, Baby Bs, and the Wolverines? They get paid, but they’re not in the big leagues.

Then at 7am the broadcast switches to Good Morning America, which is a silly show with not very important or interesting stories (Missing scenes from Desperate Housewives is news?) The only time it switches to a local focus is to break in with the local weather.

I believe that later on, maybe 7:30 or 8 it switches back to the local news but if I’m purposely awake that early, I’m no longer home.

So, if you’re only seeing the national broadcasts, rather than local ones, you miss the sports coverage.

I didn’t even know we sent teams to the World Cup. I’m not a sports fan, but I do watch Headline News (national news outlet, headlines 24/7) and they have a segment on sports each hour on the hour, 24 hours a day.

Yes, and enough viewers of the main news programmes on the major channels, yes.

This all makes sense - and I’m guessing it partly comes down to the different way competitions are structured (we’ve talked at length in the past about the merits of promotion/relegation systems).

Now this I don’t follow. We’re only talking about national competitions, right? There’s 20 teams in the Premiership, with the majority of results being reported in the average bulletin. There’ll also normally be mention of important results in the Championship (another 24 teams, incidentally having an average attendance matching that of the NBA or NHL), and in rugby and cricket.

How much coverage of sports is there in newspapers? Of course, I’m aware these too are more regionalised in America, but in the serious press, how much space gets devoted to sport?

Most daily newspapers have an entire sports section.

For example, last Sunday’s Chicago Tribune (one of the biggest papers in the country) has a sports section of 18 pages (it’s shared and has ads, so only about 13 pages are actual sports information. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch (a couple rungs lower) had a 12-page sports section, with the backpage being weather. It also included the first of a four-part life-size poster of a national baseball star who plays for the local team. The Southern, a small newspaper serving Southern Illinois had an 8-page sports section.

I could also mention that it’s somewhat interesting how papers choose to devote their coverage between national and local sports. Besides the major leagues with national interest (baseball, basketball, football, hockey, and so on), there are the minor leagues, which have regional interest, and innumerable local leagues, as well as highschool and college sports. Bigger papers tend to focus on major sports, putting their local college teams inside, and highschool teams may rarely get more coverage than a line score. Smaller papers usually prominently feature local highschool and college sports, since their reporters are more likely to have access to the coaches and players.

Yes, the USA is a similar size to Australia, yet Australian people have quite an intense interest in the progress of all regional teams playing in the national competitions. There are national television programs on free-to-air TV that are devoted to specific sports and cover the results of all teams. My wife, who has no particular interst in any sport, still puts some money in at work and bets on the results of each round of Australian Rules Football.

I don’t think the size of the country has anything to do with it. Perhaps the population? But then, the UK has a large population who also have a keen interest in sports results between teams other than their own.

It seems to come down to something cultural then. Without having spent any time in the US I have no idea what it is, but there does seem to be some kind of fundamental difference.

Good Morning America and Today are shown at about 4am -6am weekdays. I think Jim Lehrer news show is on SBS at 5.00pm. Practically noone in Australia would see these shows.

This matches the British press, where the national papers mainly report on the Premiership and other top-level competition, while local papers concentrate on the fortunes of the local teams (irrespective of whether these are top level clubs, or much lower down)