FanDuel - WFBC

December 07, 2009

NFL Will End Revenue Sharing: The NFL has notified the players' union that in March, owners will end the yearly revenue-sharing program subsidized lower-revenue clubs with an extra $5 to $10 million a year from the richer clubs. The union is fighting the move, claiming that it will upset the league's competitive balance. Around 8-10 teams are getting the money. Teams will still share broadcast revenue. Oakland Tribune columnist Gary Peterson runs down what it means for the NFL's haves and have-slightly-lesses.

posted by rcade to football at 10:46 AM - 23 comments

So there could be the football equivalent of the Royals, budget wise?

posted by yzelda4045 at 11:58 AM on December 07

That's a pretty well-written column. I would hope the haves in the NFL have the good sense to realize the small amount of money each give up means relative parity throughout the league, which equals better match-ups and more fannies in seats no matter the opponent.

posted by wfrazerjr at 12:25 PM on December 07

As a Lions fan I have to ask.. uh, what parity?

posted by apoch at 12:54 PM on December 07

If the NFL was run the same way as MLB, the Packers would have long since vanished from the face of the earth.

The fact that there is a franchise in a place like Green Bay and that the franchise is competitive is a testament to how well pro football is run compared to other major league sports. Ending revenue sharing would not be a good thing.

The concept of parity is there in principle. There is nothing in the league structure to prevent someone like Matt Millen from wrecking a franchise.

posted by beaverboard at 01:19 PM on December 07

Parity is ruining that league. It's becoming a trainwreck to watch.

Parity creates mediocrity. Parity cheapens the product.

If you want everyone to have a "fair chance" at winning, go watch tee-ball.

posted by JButton at 01:29 PM on December 07

I don't see how the Packers' existence is a testament to revenue sharing. They stuck around from the early days of the league because they were fan-owned and thus could never be shipped to a more lucrative market. By the time TV revenue became huge, they were extremely popular.

posted by rcade at 01:31 PM on December 07

Parity is ruining that league. It's becoming a trainwreck to watch.

The league's viewership is at all-time highs. The New England Patriots and Pittsburgh Steelers have won multiple Super Bowls the past decade and Indianapolis Colts have been great over that span as well. I don't see how parity is doing any damage, though the NFC hasn't had a great team over multiple years since the heyday of the St. Louis Rams.

posted by rcade at 01:34 PM on December 07

As a Lions fan I have to ask.. uh, what parity?

As a Browns fan I was thinking the same thing. Then I remembered all those first round busts for picks. This will spell blackout for more cities than just Cleveland. Our last two games almost were blacked out, but the local TV channel and other businesses bought the remaining tickets and donated them. Wfrazerjr, you are right on it really is not that much money compared to the income of the large market teams.

posted by jojomfd1 at 01:38 PM on December 07

Parity creates mediocrity. Parity cheapens the product.

Right. So if only 5 teams can be good, what incentives do owners/players/fanbases have investing in a team? NONE. Whether we like it or not, football is a business, & only having teams in 5 major cities instead of 15-20 is bad business.

posted by brainofdtrain at 01:39 PM on December 07

what it means for the NFL's haves and have-slightly-lesses.

I think that should be stressed. It's not like you're going to have teams operating in two different worlds.

posted by yerfatma at 01:58 PM on December 07

Parity is ruining that league. It's becoming a trainwreck to watch.

Parity creates mediocrity. Parity cheapens the product.

Based on what criteria? NFL viewership is as high as its ever been. Teams aren't evenly matched; even within a salary cap system, you have a lack of parity due to the abilities of the front office at judging talent. Not to mention the fact that there's no parity in individual salaries, giving the players a lot to play for.

You'd best elaborate on what you mean by any of this because all I see is very watchable, very competitive football.

posted by dfleming at 02:27 PM on December 07

I see that Gary Peterson, in his article, has tabbed New England as one of the "haves" for being a "regional obsession and playing in a new stadium". The new stadium was built with minimal governmental aid, with the Kraft family benefiting from only a few million dollars of road improvements. Kraft did receive some help in loans from the league. My point is that any of the owners who cry poverty because of inadequate stadiums can avail themselves of the same opportunity as New England. The Patriots were not always the successful franchise they are today. When Kraft first took over the team, they played in a run down facility with difficult access. True, the team was popular, but the merchandise sales and extra stadium revenues were not there. The operation in New England today is purely the product of shrewd business sense and hard work. The owners of the less successful franchises need to spend more time looking for ways to get better and less time pocketing the checks.

posted by Howard_T at 04:23 PM on December 07

Parity creates mediocrity. Parity cheapens the product.

Aren't there two 12-0 teams right now for the first time, um, ever?

posted by rumple at 05:42 PM on December 07

Please ignore the guy who doesn't, you know, actually watch Football.

posted by basicchannel at 06:36 PM on December 07

Revenue sharing is the same as spreading the wealth. If my business is worth more than your business why should I have to give you money to subsidize your business? The Salary cap is what is supposed to keep teams even. Not one team having to pay for the players of another team.

posted by twgibsr at 09:48 PM on December 07

If my business is worth more than your business why should I have to give you money to subsidize your business? The Salary cap is what is supposed to keep teams even. Not one team having to pay for the players of another team

Because the actual business is the NFL, not each individual team (though they have seperate ownership--sort of like some restaurant chains with franchise ownership). You would not have a business if it was not for the other clubs. Your success is directly linked to their success.

One of the things that seperated the NFL from other major sports was that many of the founding fathers (The Rooney's, the Hunt's, the Mara's, etc.) had a "league think" mentality and understood that their franchise could not be successful if the league as a whole was not successful. It's one of the reasons the NFL caught up to and passed baseball in popularity.

Another way to look at would be say you owned a Coke distributership and placed your product in a McDonald's (Coke being your club, McD's being the NFL). The success of your product selling at McDonald's is directly proportional to the success of that McDonald's. And because of that you give McDonald's some of the revenue generated of the sale of your Coke product (revenue sharing) realizing that without it you would not be as successful as you are.

posted by jagsnumberone at 12:43 AM on December 08

If my business is worth more than your business why should I have to give you money to subsidize your business?

Because without my business (crappy team), your business (successful team) wouldn't have ANY business (games to play).

posted by grum@work at 12:51 AM on December 08

What part of "the NFL shares TV and broadcast revenue" are some people not getting? The league currently has $20.4 billion in TV deals through 2011 with four networks. This money -- which is vastly more than the $100 million being dropped in revenue sharing -- is split by the teams.

If you think this is "spreading the wealth," as if that was a bad thing in one of the two most profitable sports leagues on the planet (along with the Premiership), it's been that way for decades and is unlikely to ever change.

You can take heart in one thing, though. The league continues to screw the proletariat by denying them guaranteed contracts and an adequate pension plan.

posted by rcade at 07:26 AM on December 08

The league continues to screw the proletariat by denying them guaranteed contracts and an adequate pension plan.

I'm not sure that I'd call anyone whose minimum salary is 285k a prole. I know it's not guaranteed, but still. Anyone working in an at-will state is also subject to firing at the whim of ownershio, largely at a lower salary. Them's the proles.

That said, the pension plan, especially in light of the medical developments of the last few years, has got to be revisited. It's insane how toxic this sport is on the longevity of the body and those profiting off of that need to step up to the plate and cover the long term needs of these players. We could be headed for some testy issues in the near future between the union and the NFL.

posted by dfleming at 07:57 AM on December 08

I'm not sure that I'd call anyone whose minimum salary is 285k a prole.

NFL teams carry what, about 70 players? How many years was that TV contract, 4?

20,400,000,000
- (70 * 285,000 * 30 * 4)
--------------------------------
$18,006,000,000

I'd say the owners will make it through Christmas. You cannot compare working in the NFL with the general US job market. There are a limited number of possible employees and without them that $20 billion dollar contract turns into a pumpkin. Or did you watch a full season of that new football league this year?

posted by yerfatma at 09:22 AM on December 08

You cannot compare working in the NFL with the general US job market.

I wasn't. I was merely saying that comparing the plight of Joe Thirdstring to the traditional prole is a stretch.

posted by dfleming at 10:01 AM on December 08

True. I only brought it up as a counterpoint to the silly notion that the NFL is share-the-wealth socialism.

But I do think the minimum-salary NFL player is not that far off some high-paying, high-danger blue collar jobs, like some of the fishing boats where you can earn $60,000 in a couple months' work. A player risks paralysis and other permanent injuries, as well as lifelong debilitating ailments. If you stretch out the salary over a lifetime, and the player comes out of the game with injuries that prevent him from other work, $285K a year for a couple years isn't much.

posted by rcade at 10:04 AM on December 08

If you stretch out the salary over a lifetime, and the player comes out of the game with injuries that prevent him from other work, $285K a year for a couple years isn't much.

Not to mention the fact that, at present, you're left in the lurch when your personal injuries come back to bite you in the ass. If you make a couple of million playing football, it could definitely go straight down the drain trying to cope with varying degrees of disability. It's a huge risk/reward gamble for anyone to play in the NFL, the way it is setup now.

posted by dfleming at 11:00 AM on December 08

You're not logged in. Please log in or register.