In a Ramsey model this can be true.
I went to see a Thunder-Clippers game with Kevin and Robin, and as usual parts of the live experience were rather distasteful to me, including the noise, the arena announcer, and the cheerleaders. These features of sports have, overall, become worse over time.
That said, NBA basketball largely succeeds in appealing to both high-status and low-status men. (Roller derby and pro wrestling can’t quite bridge that gap, NASCAR is doing this more than it used to. On arena strategies for making everyone feel exclusive, try this interesting piece.) Neither group goes away from the experience fully happy, but each receives something of value.
High-status men receive ancillary products related to the NBA, such as statistics and clever analytics, from say Bill Simmons or fivethirtyeight or Zach Lowe. These make the experience of watching the game more high brow and also more satisfying. In response to that improvement, some other aspects of the experience can be dumbed down, without the high-status men defecting. The stupid promotions and halftime shows, for instance, becomes less suited to what the high status men might be looking for. But you can ignore them when you’re happy to sit there and think through PER for this year’s Kevin Love, whether the Wizards should take so many long twos, or why the Atlanta Hawks were such a surprise.
And thus we have another unintended consequence: making an experience smarter, as do the clever sportswriters, can also contribute to making part of that same experience more stupid.
Addendum: Watching the game, I also learned that the Thunder have a deeper team than I had thought, and that Chris Paul is no longer a quick point guard.