After telling ESPN that the NFL is “10 years away from an implosion,” Mark Cuban wrote a Facebook post on why the league is in trouble.
His argument has five parts (read his full post below):
1. I wouldn’t let my son play football, would you?
2. Player behaviour.
3. Their TV strategy today is perfect … but they risk over-saturation.
4. Fantasy football.
5. The risk of TV is changing.
From a business perspective, those last three points are the most interesting.
Cuban thinks audiences will get sick of the NFL if the league expands to a fourth night. The NFL currently has games on Sundays, Mondays, and Thursdays, and they’re looking at Saturdays for future games, Cuban says.
He calls this — a TV product losing popularity because it’s on too much — the “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?” effect.
Cuban also thinks interest in fantasy football could crater:
“We all know from history that very few tech based businesses live on as they currently are forever. And 10 years is forever. And Fantasy Football at its base is a tech based form of entertainment.”
If the explosion of fantasy sports is temporary, the NFL would take a hit.
Finally, Cuban thinks the future of the TV industry could hurt the league.
“The NFL, because of its audience sizes, more than any other pro sport, needs traditional TV to stay strong,” he wrote.
He doesn’t think TV is doomed, but he thinks the NFL would be hurt by a widespread shift to streaming. The league currently makes between $US5 billion and $US6 billion in annual revenue from TV rights deals.
“There is a big difference between optimising 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.
“And technology effects every business. You have to anticipate changes and all the possible points of change they will create in your business. I have talked about a few things the NFL will have to address over the next 10 years. If they don’t get piggy, they should be ok. If not, they will implode.”
The full post:
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