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Mark Cuban: I didn’t expect this response to my NFL comments


Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban says he was caught off-guard by how many people criticized him for saying that the NFL is 10 years away from implosion.

“I honestly didn’t say it expecting this big a response or this big a hullabaloo,” Cuban said on Pardon the Interruption. “But I guess I should have known that when you say anything negative about the NFL, everybody is going to talk about it.”

Cuban referenced the Colts moving from Baltimore to Indianapolis 30 years ago (although he was off on the timeline) to point out that the NFL hasn’t always been on top of the American sports landscape and may not remain on top.

“Look, over a period of 10 years anything is possible, and we’ll see how they handle things. It was, what, 18 or 19 years ago that teams were leaving in the middle of the night,” Cuban said.

Cuban also reiterated his belief that fantasy football might turn out to be a passing fad, and that if people turn away from fantasy football, they’ll turn away from the NFL as well.

“They’re dependent on fantasy football, not for a majority of their viewership or anything like that, but on the margin, there’s a lot of people who watch football because they play fantasy sports,” Cuban said. “Are they sure that fantasy sports are going to remain dominant for 10 years? That’s a tough bet, there aren’t a lot of any type of game that stays dominant for 10 years.”

Cuban said he wasn’t trying to get attention with his comments and isn’t claiming to forecast the future. He was simply making an observation.

“Did I say with certainty they were going to implode? No, but I said if they’re not careful about how they treat their fans and how they offer their product and how they price their product, it’s not a slam dunk that they’re going to be on top in 10 years,” Cuban said.

It’s certainly possible that the NFL won’t be as popular 10 years from now as it is today, just as the NBA’s surge in popularity in the 1980s and 1990s was followed by a decline in popularity after the retirement of Michael Jordan. But right now, football is America’s most popular sport by such a huge margin that when a basketball guy like Cuban talks about it, it’s hard for him not to seem a little jealous.

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30 Responses to “Mark Cuban: I didn’t expect this response to my NFL comments”
  1. robkeezy says: Mar 26, 2014 6:16 PM

    I listened when he talked about an implosion, because I figure being a billionaire NBA team owner, he had credibility.

    But when I start to read about how he thinks enough of a viewership in the NFL is dependent upon Fantasy Football, and when people stop playing, they’ll stop watching, I’ll admit, I tuned out.

  2. bert1913 says: Mar 26, 2014 6:17 PM

    this is the nfl, not the nba

  3. baltimorons says: Mar 26, 2014 6:17 PM

    Once again…he’s right.

  4. itsfootballbaby says: Mar 26, 2014 6:18 PM

    He’s correct that the league should be careful not to take the fans for granted. At times it seems that the NFL bosses think there is no bottom to the fans wallets.

  5. thestrategyexpert says: Mar 26, 2014 6:18 PM

    So he can’t forecast beyond a 24 hour period too well huh? But his 10 year projections will surely be spot on, yeah right. He sounds completely lost and scrambling to keep his ideas intact, but it’s not making much sense and nobody should put any stock into it. This was just one of those times where he was way off and struck out horribly. Move on to the next business case Mark.

  6. ravensbob says: Mar 26, 2014 6:19 PM

    Love the guy, please buy the Orioles.

  7. khenien says: Mar 26, 2014 6:19 PM

    I highly doubt Cuban is really jealous of anything with his billions of dollars. Sounds to me like he’s making some good points especially in light of the playoff expansion.

  8. theycallmeyango says: Mar 26, 2014 6:21 PM

    Before this off-season I’d have called him crazy now he’s looking more and more right

  9. iamkillerfin says: Mar 26, 2014 6:26 PM

    CUBAN WILL BE RIGHT!!! Buy the Fins from Ross please!!!

  10. freshnesssss says: Mar 26, 2014 6:28 PM

    just jelly he bought a team in the wrong league

  11. jetsfan67 says: Mar 26, 2014 6:33 PM

    Has many good points except the fantasy football thing.

  12. rcgolf12 says: Mar 26, 2014 6:44 PM

    Cuban has absolutely messed up any hope of Mark Davis selling him the Raiders. According to multiple sources, there were prior discussions.

  13. sean987 says: Mar 26, 2014 6:45 PM

    Its not fantasy football marc. Online gambling is the #1 reason football has rised in popularity

  14. zeke2517 says: Mar 26, 2014 6:49 PM

    How dare he make a reasoned observation.

  15. silverandblack052099 says: Mar 26, 2014 6:56 PM

    He should just stop talking.

  16. urbusted2 says: Mar 26, 2014 6:57 PM

    I think the Thursday games are a bad idea for several reasons. Over exposure and player safety are the two most obvious. London is an even worse idea. The commissioner should slow down a bit and examine the points Cuban has raised.

  17. packhawk04 says: Mar 26, 2014 7:02 PM

    Yeah, hes off on the fantasy football thing.

  18. jbeagles23 says: Mar 26, 2014 7:14 PM

    Fantasy baseball has been around forever and people still love it. Football is just getting started and all that does is let people watch the worst games of the week to see their players. The nfl is reaching an echelon no other league has and the nba is staying stagnant

  19. crewchief15 says: Mar 26, 2014 7:29 PM

    Has anybody watched a whole regular season nba game? I barley watch the the finals. Their season is waaaaaay to long, ends in late June starts beginning of Oct. I would bet a Jags vs Browns game would draw more viewers then a Mav vs SA game.

  20. raiderapologist says: Mar 26, 2014 7:53 PM

    A loss of interest in fantasy football wouldn’t kill the NFL. Roger’s efforts to turn it into global flag football just might.

  21. prspicacious says: Mar 26, 2014 7:56 PM

    NFL is peaking.

    Cuban is jealous.

    ‘nuf said.

  22. nemobhax says: Mar 26, 2014 8:27 PM

    So I should be watching the Milwaukee Bucks or the Sixers instead?

    I don’t think so.

    I’ve never seen a league that was so dependent on one guy. The ugly truth is that Jordan retired (3 times?) and the NBA never really recovered.

  23. vincentbojackson says: Mar 26, 2014 8:30 PM

    Not sure about the rest of you, but I’ve been playing Fantasy Football with pretty much the same guys since 1990. That’s 23 years straight with to decline in sight.

    Not sure where Cuban gets the idea of a magic 10 year Fantasy Football decline. I don’t see it, and the continuing surge in participation by non-traditional fans doesn’t support it either.

  24. dallascowboysdishingthereal says: Mar 26, 2014 8:34 PM

    Is there anything more annoying than listening to fantasy football guy talk about his team winning his league? Shoot me.

  25. kwjsb says: Mar 26, 2014 8:41 PM

    And Mark… for that reason …. I’m out.

  26. kev86 says: Mar 26, 2014 8:43 PM

    Lost me on the fantasy angle and sounds a little whiney now.

  27. jimr10 says: Mar 26, 2014 9:00 PM

    Ask him if he could buy an NFL team…would he do it? I bet he would

  28. kingpel says: Mar 27, 2014 8:32 AM

    I wonder how he projects the NBA looking in ten years.

  29. ialwayswantedtobeabanker says: Mar 27, 2014 11:14 AM

    For a guy making prognostications — the fact he failed to realize his comments would draw this kind of reaction, further underscores how he might not know what he’s talking about when he’s making such prognostications.

  30. ocgunslinger says: Mar 27, 2014 12:29 PM

    Mark Cuban has and is one of the smartest business minds and not just limited to sports. His observations should be taken seriously and not dismissed because you personally disagree.

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