The NFL has been taking a beating lately.
Ratings are down due to politics getting interjected into the sport and now, with the pandemic, the lack of fans in the stands has cost owners hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue.
The league has already lowered the salary cap for next season in an effort to lower costs, but now it is demanding a 100 percent increase in revenue by networks that broadcast the games.
With no fans in the stands and the possibility that the upcoming season will have limited fans, the NFL is in dire shape.
Before Colin Kaepernick, a pandemic like this probably would have created skyrocket ratings, but Kaepernick cost the league millions of fans.
All year we saw ratings plummet, including in the most recent Super Bowl, which had the lowest ratings for a championship game since 1969.
Point being, the league does not have a leg to stand on in terms of demanding more money, but it is.
For example, ESPN’s massive contract for Monday Night Football ends after the 2021 season.
Disney-owned ESPN is already paying $1.9 billion to broadcast a single game every week, and now the NFL wants double that.
That is far more than the other networks that broadcast multiple games.
For instance, Fox pays $1.1 billion, CBS pays $1 billion, and NBC pays $960 million.
Disney CEO Bob Chapek sounds like he is ready to walk and tell the NFL to look elsewhere, stating, “We’re looking at the long-term trends of sports viewership.
“We’ve had a long relationship with the NFL.
“If there’s a deal that will be accretive to shareholder value, we will certainly entertain that and look at that.
“But our first filter will be to say whether it makes sense for shareholder value going forward.”
CNBC, in fact, has reported that Disney has already walked from the current proposal, but the other three networks have yet to respond.
The networks have all the leverage right now, but that does not necessarily mean they won’t blink, but they should hold out.
Fewer viewers means less advertising dollars for the networks and they were already complaining about it last year.
This could be the opportunity everyone has been waiting on to knock these spoiled athletes down a notch and finally reduce salaries that are simply out of hand, which has resulted in higher concessions and ticket prices.