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I think the major change is that the owners no longer have the same kind of control over the players that they used to. There were fewer economic issues back in the days when owners could simply dictate what salaries players would get.
Another major change is the way that franchises can now hold cities hostage and extort concessions from them. There is this sense that cities need to compete to get the privilege of having sports teams. This comes, I think, from all the TV revenue that makes the owners think that they and their teams are indispensable.
Many critics have commented on the fact that advertising revenue during premium sporting event ad breaks seems to be recession-proof! Many companies vie with each other to compete for the top 30 second slots, often for hundreds of thousands of dollars. This may change in the future however with the advent of social media such as Facebook and even YouTube and Broadcast-Yourself T.V. A new system of charging may have to be worked out.Hopefully, advertising will still be restricted to socially responsible products to protect the young and impressionable.
Advertising is a massive issue that cannot be overlooked. The search for companies that are willing to sponsor teams for to have them advertise their product and the subsequent desire of teams to get "big name" players who can attract such deals is an important aspect of sporting today.
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