Major sports like football, basketball, hockey and baseball are getting enough draw from fans. Even to this day, it seems the NFL still hasn't gotten an official say over its on-going controversy with player-and-coach stances against social and political issues of today. Worse, hundreds, if not thousands, of social media accounts and personal blogs/websites have popped up talking about the fixed nature of NFL games. All in all, these major sports leagues are continuing on very carefully because one squeak can cause an uproar among fans, which may cause them to boycott or stop watching. Times are tough, and we completely understand.
As recent as 2017, we've been seeing some draw among competitive challenges which have been under the classification of a "sport." What were perceived as pastimes have now become an industry in the sports world itself—eSports (video gaming), darts and even cornhole. If low-key sports like these, with the exception of college sports, continue to garner a fanbase and audience, then it's time that we here at SPORTSSOTROS contribute a suggestion to major sports networks around the country—namely, the CEO/founder's personal favorite sports network: NBC Sports Network. We present to programming executives of NBC Sports this: Jai-Alai.
Pronounced "high a-lie," this is not only a sport that's been around for decades and popular among countries such as Spain and the Philippines, but it has its main-stay at Dania Beach, Florida. Its fast pace should keep viewers on their toes especially during the heat of the game, comparative to hockey. Here's an example:
That video, captured by a third-party user, recorded the live stream from Casino Dania's official website. The broadcast itself may not be the most exciting, given the casino's broadcast budget, but you can see, it's already ahead of its time streaming live 24/7. Now, we hope to see the sport in the big screen, and feel that NBC can step up in making this happen.
We accidently discovered Dania's Jai-Alai way back in early 2007, and their live streams have been going on since. Their streams have drastically improved but since then, it still airs in standard definition (4:3 full screen).
Anyone who watches pregame shows or sports news shows knows there have been segments talking about sports betting (something that would've been frowned upon by production/network executives more than ten years ago). Because sports odds are now being openly accepted, given the current stance of the leagues today, sports betting is becoming the norm. You know very well what that means: Jai-Alai is a sport you can place bets on. Depending who your favorite Jai-Alai player is, you can run to a sports book, place your bet on which player, then watch the game unfold; Or, you can watch the game while dining in at your favorite sports bar/restaurant or at home.
The problem with this may be snatching the limelight out of Casino Dania and their famous venue dedicated to Jai-Alai all the way in Florida, but we beg to differ. If networks like NBC Sports airs even 10 different games of Jai-Alai in a week, it should be enough to garner interest among those new to the sport. Since it's also friendly when it comes to betting, sports books are able to open a new avenue of expertise analyzing this sport for viewers telling them who's the best player to bet on for the day/week.
If Drew Carey sparked national popularity in the art of improvisation comedy thanks to his show Whose Line Is It Anyway?, then we feel the same could happen if a modest network like NBC Sports could pick up and air this sport on national TV. However, since websites like Twitter, Facebook, Yahoo! and Amazon are hoping to sneak in a piece of the sports pie, NBC Sports better act fast since those websites may lay down their multi-million offer to live stream Jai-Alai on their websites. Hurry up, NBC Sports!
What do you think? Should Jai-Alai finally have national exposure on television? Let us know in the comments section below!