Thursday, December 9, 2010
NFL Committed To Cramming Home 18 Games
It doesn't matter if you hate the thought of an 18 game NFL season.
The league is going to shove it down your throat, whether you like it or not.
I am constantly amazed at how little actual support there is among fans for this league obsession.
Here, read this quick blurb headed with "NFL negotiator says 18-game season key to labor talks."
Now, skip down to the comments, and just get a feel for how many fans absolutely HATE this idea. This is not a skewed sample of opinion, either.
In all of my hours on the radio taking calls, both national and local, I have yet to hear any broad, coherent, or passionate support for 18 games.
The league will say, "but of course, who WOULDN'T want to turn two bad pre-season games into real ones?"
The NFL is assuming that demand for their product is infinite, and that the financial will of their customers to finance schedule expansion is a fait accompli.
I think if they get their way on 18 games, they may be in for a shock.
To my view, the average NFL fan is already more than satisfied with the level of consumption available for the NFL "product" as a whole.
Because even though schedule expansion is still the league's goal, they have already engaged in aggressive television expansion for years.
They pried open a Thursday "opening night" game before the first Sunday.
They have a full second half slate of Thursday games.
They have a late December run of Saturday games.
They added a third game on Thanksgiving day.
They even have a double-header MNF game during Week 1.
All of this, with the popular explosion of the NFL's own "Red Zone Channel" by way of cable systems, means that the average NFL fan is well sated with the product as it currently stands.
The demand for 18 games, is much weaker than the league thinks.