Friday, December 07, 2007

NFL Network Ruins Holidays For Millions Of Fans

As I have pointed out before, Dallas Cowboys' fans have been unfortunately selected to have two of this years football game telecast on the 'NFL Network'. This relatively new cable channel was the brain child of NFL owners and everything that has surrounded it has been fought every step of the way by major cable companies nationwide. The net result of these two billion dollar industries fighting like children over our money has resulted in some of the biggest games of the 2007 season being blacked out for most football fans. A few weeks ago, two of the best teams in the NFL this year - The Dallas Cowboys and The Green Bay Packers were not seen by most fans because of greed. Now Dallas Cowboys' fans along with fans from the Carolina Panthers will once again miss an important game on the weekend before Christmas because that game will also be played on the 'NFL Network'. I guess NFL fans having been calling and writing to their elected officials because it was reported today that Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts had written a letter to both NFL and cable company officials urging them to reach a compromise before the December 29th New England Patriots and New York Giants game. There is a good chance that New England will be playing to conclude a perfect regular season during that game, but few fans nationwide will be able to watch the game on television if nothing changes.

While surveys say that most NFL fans blame their local cable company in this dispute, I believe most of the fault resides with NFL owners. Already it has become very expensive for a family to watch an NFL game in person. From high ticket prices, to parking fees and concessions - it could cost a family of four hundreds of dollars just to see one NFL football game in person. For the average, non rich, NFL football fan the only way they could regularly afford to keep up with their favorite team was to watch them on free TV on the weekend. Millions of fans that have never attended a game in person depended on free over the air television to watch and support their favorite team. Now the NFL is trying to take away free games on television, which is the first step toward making everyone pay to watch each NFL game from home. The NFL is already awash in money with millionaire players and billionaire owners that never seem to be satisfied with the blessings they have been bestowed.

While capitalism is the best system in the world, from time to time it creates so much greed that it must be broken up in order to restart from time to time. I believe the NFL is getting close to taking itself to a point where Congress will be forced to take a look at how this game is set up, played and financed. In true capitalism, there always comes a point in time where the big players end up buying out the smaller ones and at some point a monopoly develops. Throughout American history we have seen this happen and when it does it is the responsibility of government to take a business or industry, break it up and force it to once again compete for consumer dollars. I do not believe the NFL has reached that point yet, but the greed of it's team owners is pushing the league to the point where someday soon the government will act to break up this league for not only the good of the game, but for fans as well. I hope that NFL owners will take their greed hats off just long enough to see that they are destroying a game that is a favorite for millions of Americans. The revenue and profit growth of the NFL over the past ten years has been astounding, but unfortunately NFL team owners never seem to think they earn enough money off of a game that fans just want to be able to watch without paying a huge sum of money for the privilege.

Read more about the NFL:

December 22 Dallas Cowboys Game On NFL Network
Pay Per View NFL Football Games Next?
NFL/Cable Money Feud Disappoints Football Fans
Packers/Cowboys 'NFL Network' Thursday Night Disaster
Tony Romo $67 Million Contract Pays Off

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