By Edward Cardenas
SOUTHFIELD (CBS Detroit) – Sports fans will have no shortage of viewing choices this weekend with the running of the Kentucky Derby, NFL Draft, Mayweather vs. Pacquiao fight, the NBA Playoffs and Stanley Cup playoffs.READ MORE: Michigan Lawmakers raise concerns over reports of National Guard troops being served 'raw, moldy food' at US Capitol
While there are ample choices for viewers, sports bars and restaurants are preparing for the onslaught of customers who are looking to catch their favorite event in hi-def and get online to talk about on social media.
For Mike Brann, owner of Brann’s Steakhouse & Sports Bar which has 11 statewide locations, this weekend is unlike any he can remember and he is prepared for rush of customers.
Staff at each restaurant will set the nearly 50 televisions in each location to the top events, and the Northville restaurant will be the only one in the chain showing the pay-per-view fight from Las Vegas.
For these games and events, Brann’s utilizes Comcast to broadcast the sporting events and provide Wi-Fi for customers to connect to the Internet while taking in the games and dining.READ MORE: Michigan Lottery Results For Tuesday, March 2, 2021
“This is one of our ideal weekends,” said Brann, who stated the crowds started to fill their restaurants Thursday night with the first night of the draft. “Overall sports interest has increased over the years.”
Unlike some network comedies or dramas, sporting events are considered “Appointment TV” where viewers want to catch the live, and increasingly, want to experiences these games at bars and restaurants and then share it on social media.
The National Restaurant Association’s 2015 Restaurant Industry Forecast found that 35 percent of patrons are more likely to take advantage of restaurant technology than they were two years ago.
Additionally, a quarter of all adults in the survey said the availability of technology options is an important factor when choosing a restaurant. These number jump to one-third for millennials.
This is something Brann has noted, and an amenity he has offered to customers for some time.MORE NEWS: Former MDHHS Director, Robert Gordon To Receive $155,000 Payout After Resignation
“Everybody is so connected now with technology,” said Brann, who has found customers use their connected devices to follow the action for games not being shown in the restaurant. “With that connection, they can keep up on all events.”