Updates from Wednesday, March 26
“I honestly didn’t say it expecting this big a response or this big a hullabaloo. But I guess I should have known that when you say anything negative about the NFL, everybody is going to talk about it."
“Look, over a period of 10 years anything is possible, and we’ll see how they handle things. It was, what, 18 or 19 years ago that teams were leaving in the middle of the night."
Updates from Monday, March 24
Mark Cuban's comments about the NFL ruffled plenty of feathers in the last 24 hours, so he decided to further flesh out his thoughts on a lengthy Facebook post.
Cuban on why he thinks the NFL will implode in 10 years: "I wouldn't want my son playing football, would you ? I'm sure helmet technology will improve over the next 10 years, but why risk it ? There are plenty of sports to play."
Cuban on the NFL's TV strategy:
Their TV strategy today is perfect. Nothing wrong with expanding their Thursday night broadcasts. It is a great idea.
That said, if they continue this trend of adding games on more nights ( i have been told they are looking at Saturday Nights as well) and this was the point I was making to ESPN yesterday, they risk over-saturation, a decline in interest by current, and non NFL fans feeling imposed upon because of the relative popularity of the NFL.
Some have asked, "if you can supply programming that has such huge demand on more nights , why wouldn't you ? " The answer is simple. No one wants to do the same thing every night. No matter what it is.
His final conclusion:
It's the same thing I tell my businesses and would tell every business. You shouldn't try to get every last second of a person's attention or every last penny that you can squeeze from them.
There is a big difference between optimizing the relationship you have with your customers and maximizing short term revenue. Building customers for life is about building relationships and anticipating customer wants and needs.
Customers/Fans/Advertisers know when they are being pushed. They know when they are being squeezed. It always ends up costing the business in the end.
You know that billion-dollar enterprise otherwise known as the NFL? Yeah, it's going to crash and burn in a decade.
At least that's the opinion of often controversial Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, who recently discussed what he believed to be the fate of the NFL while talking to reporters, via ESPNDallas.com's Tim MacMahon:
I think the NFL is 10 years away from an implosion. I'm just telling you, pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered. And they're getting hoggy. Just watch. Pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered. When you try to take it too far, people turn the other way.
I'm just telling you, when you've got a good thing and you get greedy, it always, always, always, always, always turns on you. That's rule number one of business.
There you have it. The NFL is simply too hoggy.
Cuban's comments are in reference to the NFL's new television package. In February, the league announced CBS would air eight Thursday Night Football games, while the NFL Network would air eight more.
With games now being broadcast on four days—Sundays, Mondays, Thursdays and sometimes Saturdays—Cuban believes the NFL is going too far.
"It's all football. At some point, the people get sick of it."
Roger Goodell responded to Cuban's claims (via NFL's Around the League):
Goodell on Mark Cuban comments: 'We've taken a thoughtful, incremental approach' to more primetime games. 'It's a response to the fans.'— NFL: AroundTheLeague (@NFL_ATL) March 24, 2014
While it's difficult to question Cuban's intelligence, especially when it comes to anything business, it's also hard to imagine the country ever getting so sick of football that the NFL implodes. Even as rule changes are often met with skepticism, popularity continues to soar.
Some were quick to disagree with Cuban on Twitter, including Emmy-winning video producer Chris Yates:
The visibility of the league has already increased in a major way, which Cuban criticizes, but the ratings have also trended upward. The 2014 Super Bowl, despite being about as thrilling as watching paint dry for anyone who wasn't a Seahawks fan, was the most-watched game in history.
Teams are doing pretty well for themselves, too. According to Forbes, 23 of the 32 NFL franchises are valued at $1 billion or more.
Is Cuban right?
And with Goodell, who is the highest-paid commissioner in the four major North American sports, intent on expanding on an international scale, the arrow is only pointing up.
So, is the NFL full of greedy and "hoggy" individuals? Yeah, probably. But are fans going to get tired of the enthralling sport? Is the league headed for a downfall in 10 years?
Not likely. The NFL has proved it knows what it's doing.