The NFL’s Motto Should Be Cash On The Barrel Head
For the rest of April, virtually all of the news surrounding the NFL will be about the upcoming draft which on the face of it is an illegal restraint of trade. The league has a mechanism to affect the marketplace and keep entry level job seekers from choosing where they want to work and how much money they can make. It is all legal due to collective bargaining laws where two parties can come up with an agreement which might hurt a third party. But all of the NFL’s actions can be traced to money and how to maximize profits for the owners without giving the store away to the players.
The NFL has seen fan erosion though and that is worrisome. The NFL had eight percent less TV viewers in 2016 than in 2015 and people are trying to figure out why. Baltimore Ravens owner Steve Bischiotti thinks there are too many commercials within the games which disrupts the viewer experience and perhaps less commercials would bring back viewers. But without the commercials, the NFL would not get CBS, NBC and FOX to give them billions for the programming. Perhaps fans are getting tired of franchise moves, there have been nine moves since the early 1980s with one pending. Mark Davis is going to Las Vegas by 2020. There were two moves that were stopped, Seattle to Anaheim and the Patriots from Foxboro to Hartford. Most of the moves were on the public dime. There were also all the arrests over the past decade for murder, domestic violence and a variety of other crimes. And there is also the head injury crisis that is not going away and throw in the decline in the participation of youth in feeder leagues, so you begin to identify some problems. And there are too many games available, Sunday, and Monday and Thursday from the NFL, Saturday, Thursday, Friday from the colleges. Blue collar fans have been priced out and replaced by well-heeled customers and told watch it on TV. Ironically, owners want to have the TV experience in stadiums. It’s not about too many commercials. Greed is a problem.
Franchise instability, crime, high cost of tickets are just a few of the problems Roger Goodell and his owners face.