I heard something recently that makes a lot of sense to me. Can't remember where... local radio, I think.
With the advent of DVR's, Netflix, Hulu, torrents, etc... advertisers can't be sure their ads are being seen on general tv programming.
The one form of entertainment on television where they can be 99% sure they are, is live sporting events. Hence the boom in TV contracts. Sports are the one thing that I always want to see as it happens. "I'll catch it later" is never an option.