Wrestling has been an important part of the Olympics since it was first introduced in 708 BC.
However, as the cost of advertising time is increasingly dictated by the popularity of the sport being broadcasted, television networks are likely reluctant to broadcast sports with even a slight decline in popularity.
For the same reason, there’s a decline in funding from companies wanting to endorse players with their brands and products.
With the lack of support by corporations and network television executives, it’s no wonder that wrestling as a sport has been dropped from the 2020 Olympics.
This chain of events may ultimately result in the demise of classical/traditional wrestling.
Some are considering this as an ominous look at how our society can be shaped by bottom-line profit-driven decision making. If something is of great value to society, but that value can’t be measured in potential advertising revenue, it may be at risk of becoming extinct. A minority of people may be passionate about something and benefit greatly by it, but their enthusiasm can’t be measured in dollars and neither can the benefit or contribution to the common good of society. So, such things will become extinct. By contrast, something that doesn’t benefit society, or perhaps even something that harms society, may be substantially funded and defended if a profit can be made.
“I don’t care how much training, dedication, commitment, skill, grace, or discipline a sport requires. If it doesn’t produce advertising revenue, it’s worthless. What counts is viewers because that determines how much the advertising time can sell for. I say cancel all the sports that don’t generate maximum advertising revenue. Our standard to judge other sports by should be the Super Bowl and the advertising revenue it generates.” – Fictitious Advertising Executive
While the demise of classical Olympic wrestling is bad news for some wrestlers, it does create an opportunity for professional wrestling to replace classical/traditional wrestling in future Olympic events.