Greed is good but only to a point. Take it from Mark Cuban, who has a blunt warning for the NFL.
“I think the NFL is 10 years away from an implosion,” the Dallas Mavericks owner told reporters Sunday (via ESPN Dallas). “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.”
More is not necessarily better as far as Cuban is concerned and there definitely will be more NFL games, with the league expanding its Thursday night presence, adding Saturday night and considering whether to add playoff games. Cuban’s concern stems partly from the fact that the NFL and NBA seasons overlap. And, yes, there’s a bit of irony in an NBA owner worrying over the dangers of being a constant presence, given that there are 2,400 regular-season NBA games compared with the NFL’s 512.
“They’re trying to take over every night of TV,” Cuban said. “Initially, it’ll be, ‘Yeah, they’re the biggest-rating thing that there is.’ Okay, Thursday, that’s great, regardless of whether it impacts [the NBA] during that period when we cross over. Then if it gets Saturday, now you’re impacting colleges. Now it’s on four days a week.
“It’s all football. At some point, the people get sick of it.”
Pro football may be the perfect TV sport right now, which results in billions of dollars in rights fees, but that may not always be the case. There can be a saturation point, as inconceivable as that seems, and, if there’s always a game on, then the sports suddenly isn’t such destination viewing anymore is it? Maybe Cuban is onto something.
By early afternoon, two very wealthy men had weighed in on the other side of Cuban’s prediction. Michael Eisner, the former Disney CEO, thinks that the short schedule for each team works in the NFL’s favor.
Robert Kraft, owner of the New England Patriots and chairman of the NFL’s broadcast committee, said, “I have great respect for Mr. Cuban, but I’m not sure I agree with his conclusion.”