Why So Many Sports Channels in Hotels???

Why are there so damn many sports channels in hotel rooms?

This isn’t one of those posts where I pose a question and then offer up a pithy, snarky, and/or erudite answer. I don’t even offer up an ill-informed-yet-sincere answer.

I’m genuinely asking: What’s the deal with the surfeit of sports channels in every freakin’ hotel room I stay in?

I travel a lot, so I spend a lot of time in hotel rooms. And every single one has a plethora of sports channels. A truly ridiculous number of them, to tell the truth.

Labor Day weekend, I was in Decatur, GA for the Decatur Book Festival (a wonderful time, BTW), and I flipped on the TV one night and — sure enough — a block of no fewer than seven sports channels greeted me:

  • ESPN
  • ESPN2
  • ESPN Classic
  • ESPN News
  • ESPN U
  • NFL Network
  • NBC Sports

In the words of Liz Lemon: What the what? Why is it necessary to have so many? Of all the hundreds of cable channels, why such a concentration in this specific realm? There were maybe a total of 40 channels, so close to 20% of them were specifically and wholly dedicated to sports.


How many sports can one person watch while in a hotel room?

The one that baffles me the most is ESPN Classic. If you’re in a hotel room, odds are you’re traveling on business or on a vacation. I can see wanting to catch up with the latest scores, so I could totally understand having ESPN and maybe ESPN News on your room TV. But Classic? Is there someone out there at Disneyland with the wife and kids, thinking, “I could go form memories that will last a lifetime on Splash Mountain…but instead, I’m going to stay in the room and watch that grounder go through Bill Buckner’s legs in 1986.”

I just don’t get it. Does anyone out there know???


  1. If you were in Decatur, you probably had sports on other channels you didn’t even realize. FSS. Peachtree TV. Sportsouth. I could go on.

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