How many non-Browns games did you watch this past season on Thursday night? How many weeks did it take for you to get burned out on the NFL this year? For me, with the number of games I can now watch per week having exploded over the past five years, I think the burnout rate is tangible. Apparently, what I’ve noticed in myself is also apparent to Mark Cuban who has some words of warning for the NFL.
“I think the NFL is 10 years away from an implosion,” Cuban said Sunday evening when his pregame conversation with reporters, which covered a broad range of topics, swayed toward football. “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.”
While I don’t know if I buy the timeline and I’m sure Cuban was speaking generally, I think there’s something to this. NFL football used to be a Sunday and Monday night activity. In recent years with the expansion to Thursday night they’ve looked to cash in on more and more primetime TV deal money. It’s been very good for the NFL financially. Tell me that you’d have the guts to turn down a chance at $275 million from CBS.
But the NFL is a multi-billion dollar annual operation and Cuban has a point when he brings up the example of “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?” They took a show that had risen to absolute TV dominance and burned it out by extracting every penny out of it by having it on more than once a week and adding a daytime version. Maybe that show was always going to burn out, but it’s reasonable to assume they accelerated it.
When August and September roll around, I’m thirsty for NFL football. By Thanksgiving, I really didn’t care all that much about the Thanksgiving Day games. Those Thursday games used to be a special event while preparing and eating turkey. Now, with the proliferation of NFL football into the weekly schedule, it takes something that was more scarce and precious and makes it much less valuable.
[Also see: Ray Farmer Won’t Attend Manziel Pro Day]
(Photo by Chronicle / Kat Wade)