When Will National Markets Become International Markets?

An interesting point in this piece on NCAA conference re-alignment:

Second, the most important driver of change in recent decades is an increase in the scale and scope of the sports marketplace (here’s an essay I wrote on this a few years ago). Significant decreases in the cost of travel and increases in media opportunities have transformed what was a local and regional market into one that is national in scope. Today’s higher revenues derive from nationally relevant teams playing each other on national television. That’s today’s market. It’s not the same as your father’s market, and adapting to it, especially in determining how revenues will be distributed among institutions, is not as simple as you might think.

This is about college sports.  College football is dealing with the fact that they have all these difference conferences throughout the country, and teams are moving around depending for financial reasons as they adjust to this larger market.

Professional sports made the leap into the national market awhile ago.  As the leagues grew, they expanded into markets all over the country, to the point where no one thinks of baseball or football as belonging to a particular region of America.

What I wonder about is when the shift from national market to international market will occur.  This may not happen in the next decade, but surely in the next 25 years we will be seeing some kind of expansion of American sports into other countries, and of course, as I never get tired of saying around here, we will see more soccer in America.  I’d love to know, from an economics perspective, when this shift from a national sporting market to an international market will occur.



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