Mark Cuban says the NFL’s problems are accelerating

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Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has been saying for years that the NFL is heading for a massive decline, and he said today that he is rapidly being proven right.

Cuban told the Washington Post that his belief that the NFL was going too far in chasing every dollar and diluting its product in the process is bearing out in the league’s declining television ratings.

“The NFL still has great TV ratings relative to other shows,” Cuban said. “That said, I think the problem I outlined continues and is accelerating for the NFL.”

Cuban said he doesn’t believe young people like football the way they did in generations past.

“[The accelerating problem is] confirmed by the dramatic decline in participation by kids in tackle football and from a TV perspective the significant drop in viewing by millennials and younger,” he wrote. “The age of NFL viewers keeps on going up.”

It would be easy to dismiss Cuban’s comments as those of a guy who likes to hear himself talk, but Cuban was predicting the NFL’s ratings would decline at a time when few people felt that way — and that prediction proved correct. The NFL would be wise to consider whether Cuban has a point, and what the league can do to turn things around.

52 responses to “Mark Cuban says the NFL’s problems are accelerating

  1. It’s absolutely true. They blamed lower numbers last year on the election and the made-for-TV weekly debates. So if that was true, you should see numbers increase this year. That hasn’t happened.

  2. He should be more worried about his own franchise which has been on a decline for years. He can’t get a decent free agent to sniff Dallas and the drafts have been well below average.

  3. I’d like to see real data instead of opinions. Is football becoming less popular among millennials than other sports? Because if it’s all sports declining equally among millennials then it’s not an NFL problem.

  4. And if the NFL ratings keep dropping for another 30 years, they might eventually be as low as the NBA’s.

  5. G-R-E-E-D! How would you like to go to a Charger game, pay $100 for parking, $250 per seat tickets, outrageous concession prices….and see a game in a small soccer stadium? That entire business model devised by Spanos and Fabriani is collapsing. The NFL has it’s hands full in unraveling this ridiculous move. NFL spokesman, Joe Lockhart states, ‘there have been no discussions regarding the Charger relocation.’ What a lie. It’s become a massive NFL problem because of their greed and careless stabbing of decades old fan bases in the back.

  6. The problem is that everyone in charge of or given influence over the league seems to hate the sport. Even most of the owners now are just genetic lottery winners who have no idea how their successful parents even built the place and just assume it will be great no matter what. The combination is mesmerizingly corrosive.

  7. When Cuban made his original prediction all of the “traditional” fans loved him and thought he was a genius. Then he dared to go against their hero, Trump. All of sudden, in their feeble minds, he became persona non grata.

  8. Despite what you may think of him personally, Cuban is a smart man who sees trends before others (multi-billionaire for a reason)

  9. “How would you like to go to a Charger game, pay $100 for parking, $250 per seat for tickets, outrageous concession prices …and see a game in a small soccer stadium?”

    Don’t go, problem solved. However, if you were never going to begin with, as I suspect, quit whining about it. It doesn’t effect you.

  10. Maybe the NFL needs to follow the NBA platform of rigged games with predetermined outcomes and allowing players to break the rules every game. That makes for a very watchable product. NBA equals WWE.

  11. He is sorta right…right about the NFL being in decline.

    He has the wrong reasons though

    You have the unpopular anthem protest.

    Research on concussions.

    Over-saturation of TV coverage.

    A moron commissioner(with a silver spoon) who puts Gary Bettman in a good light.

    Millennials love football, they like the rest of the country are sick and tired of a protest that has no end game. If you want “social justice”, change your attitude and your values and you will get a better return out of life.

  12. “The age of NFL viewers keeps on going up.”

    I watch the NFL and my age sure keeps on going up. He’s right!

  13. You can’t argue the ratings and more importantly the share they represent have dropped but the millennial reasoning as the prime driver doesn’t quite hold water. By the stated logic of their not having been interested in the first place how can you then support the argument that they suddenly stop watching? The millennial argument is as self defeating as the cord cutting one which ignores the share drop. Saturation of the product, lack of compelling games and alienation of the core fan base have caught up with the NFL. Cuban was closer to the truth when he made his previous hogs get slaughtered comment.

  14. Nfl losing interest because owners grabbing every dime as I cannot watch a game or three without commercial after commercial. However Cuban got every player on his league grabbing every dime. Same lack of interest will follow.

  15. scoocha says:
    October 26, 2017 at 7:49 pm

    Maybe the NFL needs to follow the NBA platform of rigged games with predetermined outcomes and allowing players to break the rules every game.

    Maybe? You just described Goodell’s NFL.

  16. Just wishful thinking from an NBA owner. I’d rather watch a pre-season NFL game than the NBA championship (unless LeBron’s playing). So many people around the world are consuming the NFL product on various media. Fewer are watching on traditional TV, so TV ratings will be down, but that doesn’t even begin to tell the whole story. NFL revenue just set an all time record high last year. That’s the bottom line, and that’s all that matters.

  17. Because football used to be battle on the field, the grid iron. Now it’s a bunch of powder puffs running around playing catch. It’s like as soon as players started being compensated with million dollar contracts for beatings they took the league quit letting defenses hit. I don’t think over saturation is the problem it’s just getting boring.

  18. I’m not sure I’d be listening to Mark Cuban if I’m an NFL owner

    Remember – this is the guy who keeps telling the NFL it would be a huge mistake to expand the playoffs in the 32 team league from 12 teams to 14 – and most fans then proceed to talk about how smart he is

    … apparently not realizing that he’s the one who is proposing expanding the 16 team playoffs in the 30 team NBA to 20 teams

  19. If Johnny Football would have panned out, The NFL would not be having this problem…it’s that simple

  20. Oh I don’t know. Tonight’s game was a real nail biter that will be talked about for minutes to come. We need MORE Thursday games!
    Signed the nba

  21. Cuban might be right about it after all. Oversaturation? Check. Greedy owners? Check. Declining product? Check. The games this season on average, have been horrible. It’s funny hearing people say the games in the NBA are rigged. As if Tom Brady’s legacy started unscrupulously with the tuck rule…HA!

  22. Thursday night games are a joke. Sunday night is barely tolerable too. and to think the commish wants to add more games to extend the season. Greed greed and more greed

  23. The core fan base has been slowly getting shredded, intentionally, for the last 20 years. Is what it is. “You know, when I think football I think of breast cancer, how about you?”

    They are gambling that they can make more money overall with a broader and larger, but less engaged, and very generic, fan base. Maybe they’re right, maybe they’re wrong. Sucks if you liked the way it was though.

  24. Sunday night games are awesome, even though they come on Monday morning here. They should have more flexibility with the flex system, it becomes the only reliable game most weeks down the stretch

  25. TV, in general, has dropped in viewership, though the NFL isn’t quite as bad off as the rest of TV. Is it overexposure? Is it a decline in the quality of the product? I’m just glad some mouth breather in the message board hasn’t blamed it on players taking a knee…yet.

  26. The NFL has moved on from you knuckle draggers. They are getting better educated fans. The ones who want a safer game, the fans who want equality. Patriotism? They don’t need that in London!! They aren’t depending on you guys to survive. They are looking global and the international market doesn’t care that players are kneeling……Cuban is right but they’ll be fine…they are starting to shift already.

  27. The image of the NFL chasing every dollar is true and it does turn people off. Also, people like sports as an escape from trendy social news and political bickering. So, people are turned off when that infests the NFL. Seeing wealthy, pampered athletes being disrespectful to the symbol of the greatest country is something people would rather not see, so they turn off the TV.

  28. I’d like to see the impact red zone is having. As ffb became more popular so has the appeal of a channel like red zone. I have several friends who no longer watch games on Sunday unless it’s their team as they’re watching red zone instead.

  29. Cuban got his feelings hurt a couple of years back when the NFL draft got higher prime time ratings than an NBA playoff game aired at the same time. Like a petulant child, he was angry at the NFL for not rescheduling their draft. Since then, he has taken delight in prophesying doom for the league.

    There is no question in my mind that the NFL is losing some of its audience right now and probably the straw that is breaking the camel’s back is politics . More specifically, the tendency for athletes and (worse yet) some “sports journalists” to take advantage of the platform that the NFL gives them to preach their personal political views is certain to turn people off in an environment like the one the US is in now where there is a high degree of polarization and civil political discourse is so rare that most people consider it a myth.

    Still, if Cuban thinks the NBA stands to profit from the NFL’s struggles, he will be sorely disappointed.

  30. Why doesn’t Cuban just shut up about the NFL? It’s not like the NBA is doing all that well. They allow all the best players to bunch up on a couple of teams to the point that the playoffs are predictable in October. Does anyone actually think that the championship series won’t be Golden State against Cleveland?

  31. Do we need Thursday night football?
    Do we need London games?

    Cuban is a smart dude and he nailed it. The NFL is overexposing the goose that laid the golden egg.

  32. As starters, scrap the Thursday night games and London games. They are not high on anyone’s’ list. The old axiom is the less people see you the more they want to see you…

  33. Well Yes, These newbies really only watch for fantasy football reasons. They dont go to games, they dont buy merchandise. They are not passionate football fans!

    Additionally, add in the Anthem protest and horrible officiating now you turn away those that were passionate! Goodell needs to act like a commissioner and fix it!

  34. Took in the 911 memorial, dinner at Babbo, and watched the Phantom of the Opera with the family. Isn’t miss watching a crap game one bit.

    Btw, Krapernick should take in the 911 memorial. Hopefully he’d see how people, including cops, pull together when times are hard. That’was leadership on many income and economic levels.

  35. NBA went on strike back in the 90s I believe. Players stated how they were underpaid. I haven’t watched a game since. MLB did the same thing, I stopped watching. NFL will be next, and I’ll stop watching. Guess only thing left is high school and college sports, I’ll keep watching those.

  36. Spot on, Cuban sees it. Those that have watched the NFL for years, see it. Only the greedy owners like Kraft- Kroenke- Jones etc have blinders on. When the younger generation cares less about the product, Houston you have a problem.

  37. Oversaturation? Check. Greedy owners? Check. Declining product? Check.

    Good job, you’ve just described the NBA.

  38. I guess it continues to be the “trendy” thing to do – pile on the NFL like it just sooooo terrible…. I will take my Sunday afternoon football over anything else, baseball, nba, hockey, soccer, golf, swimming, wnba, track n field, etc. You name it! The NFL ‘s season is very short in comparison to the other leagues and way fewer games. So, what is wrong if they want to put more games on during the week like the other league does. You can watch baseball and basketball every day for 10 months – I don’t hear anyone complaining about oversaturation! I Love The NFL!!!!

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