Technology is exponentially advancing by the day in every aspect of everyday life, and the sports world is no different. From in-game communications to international travel that wasn’t possible before to instant replay, the way sports are played has certainly evolved because of technology. But game play itself isn’t the only thing that technology has changed. The way we, as a general public, view sports has drastically evolved as new technologies have been developed and implemented.

With high-definition television becoming more and more of a norm in today’s society, sports fans are able to watch games much more clearly. To some people, watching a game in high-definition on a surround sound system and a large television rivals the experience of actually going to a game. Fans don’t have to deal with parking, ticket prices, concessions and all of the other expenses that come with attending a sporting event. In fact, in 2012, Roger Goodell suggested that the improvement of high-definition technology is a reason for declining ticket sales. The quality of graphics, statistics and visual aids to the viewer have improved so much that watching sporting events on television has become its own experience.

The Internet has also changed the way people view sports. Most professional sports leagues offer packages for sale that allow fans who may not have television access to watch games online. These packages often include extra features not included in regular television broadcasts, such as up to the minute statistics and the ability to change camera angles. Internet “fantasy” games, such as fantasy football, fantasy baseball and online gambling sites have sparked many a fan’s interest in teams other than their favorite. These are aspects of sports that were available before the Internet, but developed rapidly once the Internet became an integral part of everyday life.

The famous 1980 USA-Russia hockey playoff known as the “Miracle on Ice” was broadcast on a tape delay in the United States so it could be shown in prime time. Reporters withheld the score from news outlets as to not affect the viewership. Today, this would never occur. Scores get in posted real time on social media and other websites, and fans can follow the game shot-by-shot if they so desire. Fans don’t even need a computer to keep up with games; many scores and updates are available on all platforms of mobile devices. Imagine not being able to know the score of a major sporting event until hours after it happened. That kind of thing seems almost impossible today.

From high-definition, three-dimensional television sets to up-to-the-minute scores and updates, technology certainly plays much more of a role in sports viewership now than it ever has before. With the advent of the Internet, all sports are accessible all over the globe. Fans can even listen to radio broadcasts over the Internet using a computer or a telephone, even if the broadcast is not local. Many sports also have features that allow fans to watch highlights, analysis and even live broadcasts over the Internet. As modern technology and advancements in televisions get more affordable and available, more and more fans will be able to experience the wonderful benefits that technology can offer and change the way people watch sports.
Sean Poynter is a former college athlete and freelance writer.  His work concentrates on the partnership between sports and technology.  He spends his free time researching the latest technology news and following his favorite sports teams.