To switch topics. Remember back in 2014 when Dallas Maverick’s eccentric owner — eccentric in a good way unlike Trump — Mark Cuban was excoriated for saying:
“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 No. 1 of business.”
Oh man, oh man the reaction was swift and brutal. How dare he talk about the Holy Grail of sports. But two — not ten — years later with tanking TV ratings, Cuban seems less blasphemous and more prophetic.
Drew Harrell of the Washington Post writes:
Football, America’s biggest prime-time powerhouse, has been thrust into a crisis this fall, with dwindling ratings sparking questions over whether it can remain a gold mine for television in an age when more Americans are abandoning traditional TV.
Network executives have long used the National Football League’s live games as a last line of defense against the rapid growth of “cord-cutting” and on-demand viewing upending the industry.
But now, the NFL is seeing its ratings tumble in the same way that the Olympics, awards shows and other live events have, falling more than 10 percent for the first five weeks of the season compared with the first five weeks of last season. A continued slide, executives say, could pose an even bigger danger: If football can’t survive the new age of TV, what can?
Apparently, Cuban’s crystal ball was on point.
On the other hand, some are not vindicating Cuban: Some sports writers are blaming lower ratings on fan anger at the National Anthem protest by San Fransisco 49er’s QB, Colin Kaepernick and Roger Goodell’s lack of action.
Blame commissioner Roger Goodell.
Six weeks into the 2016 season, the NFL’s TV ratings are falling off a cliff. The league just last week issued a memo trying to placate angry advertisers and sponsors, faulting the steep ratings decline (by more than 10 percent) on the contentious presidential race and lackluster early-season matchups.
It did everything but address the elephant in the room—fan anger from the NFL’s self-inflicted protest crisis.
When San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick decided to take a seat (later, a knee) during the playing of the national anthem, the NFL could have done something about it—fine, suspend or discipline him. But NFL commissioner Goodell took a pass. As a result, Kaepernick’s protest has mushroomed from a one-man show into somewhat of a league-wide phenomenon, with many players on several other teams following suit.
I tend to side with: Mark Cuban and it’s a little premature to write off the hey day of the NFL. After all, this season did start sans two megastars, Peyton Manning (retired) and Tom Brady (suspended).