OK, this is a change of pace from the political discussions. This is an article from seven years ago when Mark Cuban said that the NFL was getting too greedy and that it would come back and bite it in the rear-end. His ten-year time frame seems a bit fast, as does his armageddon scenario, but aside from that I can’t disagree his basic premise that the NFL has been getting way too greedy.
First, as Cuban mentioned, they are saturating television. The NFL was always great on Sundays with the Monday night game when I was growing up. I remember when I was in college they had a few Thursday night games but tanked them when they had low ratings. Now they have Thursday night football every week, meaning every team has to play one game on three-day’s rest. That leads to sloppy football. Does it matter to the NFL? No, it is one more way to get the NFL on TV and bring in more money.
Next, the NFL just expanded the playoffs to fourteen teams. This past year the mediocre Chicago Bears made it in, where they proceeded to lose to the New Orleans Saints, who would have had a week-one bye under the old system. Did the NFL really gain anything by having the Bears in the playoffs - besides one more game on tv and more television money?
Now, the NFL is expanding the season to seventeen games. Does anybody think there is any real demand for a seventeenth game? The way I see it, it is just one more week, which means a lot more meaningless games in week 17 and one more week for players to get worn down and injured prior to the playoffs. Again, more television money.
Then, of course, there is the talk of putting a team in London. Never mind the logistical issues and salary cap issues with the higher taxes and cost of living in the UK, both of which would put a franchise there at a competitive disadvantage. It is more money for the NFL.
Would the NFL consider adding more teams as well? On one hand, they could rake an immediate windfall with expansion fees. But, on the other hand, they would have to divide the television revenue by more teams. Would the NFL take the short-term or long-term view here.
Either way, I agree with Cuban that the NFL is getting way too greedy and could very easily have this come back and bit it in its rear-end. This reminds me of the old game show “Who Wants to be a Millionaire.” That started out on prime time once a week and got king-sized ratings. Then, ABC expanded it to three times a week and the ratings tanked. ABC got greedy and didn’t stop to think that offering too much of that show could end up hurting the demand.
Any other thoughts?