Starting Lineups: Could Advertisers Agree with Mark Cuban's NFL "Implosion" Comments?


Though the comments were made on Sunday night, it sure seemed as if the NFL’s loudest defenders wanted Mark Cuban’s head on a pike yesterday morning.

If you haven’t heard, the entrepreneur, Shark Tank star and owner of the Dallas Mavericks said that America’s most popular entertainment company has oversaturated thanks to its recent broadcast deals and will “implode” in a decade. (He later defended his position in a Facebook post.)

While Cuban has been roasted by some, he also has his cautious defenders. A brilliant take on it comes from Bleacher Report’s Ty Schalter, but there’s another take that dovetails well into the conversation.

On Friday, Advertising Age posted an article discussing the potential "day of reckoning"; a pushback from advertisers in regards to rights fees for televised sports. Two particular paragraphs stood out here. First, regarding how the contracts to show the games directly affect marketers:

Advertisers have no input when TV networks such as ESPN, Fox, NBC and CBS pay astronomical prices for live sports rights. But they ultimately end up paying through the nose due to increased ad rates that networks charge to try to make these expensive deals profitable.

The second and probably more impactful came as the idea of leagues possibly opening traditionally sponsor-free spaces such as team sidelines to justify the higher prices:

"To what degree do you start to really tarnish the quality of the event you're watching? Many would argue we've already reached that point."

Even if the NFL eventually gets its much-desired 18-game regular season and/or expanded playoffs, it’s not as if the extra games will mean more sponsorship opportunities or TV advertisers as the same partners will gobble them all up. The cycle would get even more vicious as networks themselves have to charge even more for ad space in order to make up for what they spent on the NFL.

Oh, and the NFL Network, ESPN and others would also charge you, the consumer, just a little bit more on your cable bill just because "people can't get enough" football. Essentially, nothing will change.

Now, get your link on.

Jailed for Fixing Boxing Matches, "Top Dawg" Williams Now Reflects on His Choices - The Washington Post

Personality-Driven Sites Bring Pandora Approach to Sports Journalism - Awful Announcing

49ers' Chris Culliver Moving Beyond Offensive Comments Made at Last Year's Super Bowl - San Jose Mercury News

Cowboys will have a hard time pursuing money from Ratliff - Pro Football Talk

30 Things You Didn't Know About Chris Bosh in GIFs - Complex

What more does Dirk have to do? - Truehoop

'Baseball in Pittsburgh' Exhibit Honors Negro League at Carnegie Museum of Art - The Huffington Post

You're Not as Busy as You Say You Are - Slate

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