Live sports are beginning to look good again. Although empty stadiums, fake crowd noise and odd rules about physically distanced celebrations have made football less fun to watch, the televised resumption of the National Basketball Association (NBA) in the US has been a slicker affair.
In well-lit, beautifully branded indoor sports venues in Disney World, Florida (the NBA’s sealed-off “bubble”), a made-for-TV sports spectacle is being executed over the next four months with an only-in-America level of cinematic polish. It’s entertaining and almost as good as the pre-lockdown competition. Importantly, it could help the organisation recoup more than $1bn (€850,000) in revenue that will not only support teams but the entire staff and infrastructure of this huge sports organisation.
Although beyond the bubble a public-health emergency still ravages the world, the Olympic Games is also being brought back into focus. It marked its “one year to go” moment this week with a powerful short film stating – emphatically – that the show will go on. The Olympics is a sporting and cultural spectacle that the entire world tunes into every four years. It’s for this reason that, no matter what is happening on the ground, the International Olympic Committee must nail its media coverage ahead of and during the rescheduled event in 2021. The promotional teaser is a good start but, in terms of a televised spectacle, Tokyo’s Games must truly raise the bar – the world is going to need it.