Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is one of the most intelligent businessmen in the world. He made his own fortune — which is rumored to be well over $2 billion — with a series of successful investments and business decisions. So when Cuban says the NFL is 10 years from “imploding,” there’s reason to believe he may be onto something.
On Sunday, Cuban spoke about how the NFL is at risk of overexposure. The NFL has already announced that CBS will feature Thursday night games next season. There will also be two Saturday games on CBS later in the year and has been speculation that Wednesday night football could be a possibility in the future.
“When pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered,” Cuban said, via Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News. “And they’re getting hoggy. When you try to take it too far, people turn the other way. I’m just telling you, when you got a good thing and you get greedy, it always, always, always, always, always turns against you.”
The NFL is currently putting out its strongest product ever, with fantasy football at the peak of its popularity. As a result, ratings remain fairly high even when teams like the Buffalo Bills and Cleveland Browns meet in a meaningless matchup. Cuban cautioned that it won’t always be that way.
“They’re trying to take over every night of TV,” he said. “And initially, it’ll be the biggest rating thing there is. Then, if they get Saturday, now they’re impacting college. And then if they go to Wednesday, at some point, people get sick of it.
“It drives you in a different direction. Now, it’s ‘my team’s game is on Wednesday.’ Or, ‘now my team’s on Thursday.’ It was just so easy when I could plan on Sunday or maybe Monday. And if you get no days off in football and your team is playing one of those days, it’s just one of the rules I use: when pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered. Fantasy football, people pay attention to it. But we’ll see.”
While it’s hard to imagine people getting sick of NFL football, Cuban’s theory makes sense. Tracking fantasy plays on weeknights or Saturdays (when there could be a game like Auburn-Alabama being played) is one thing. But people could eventually get annoyed if their team plays on five different nights throughout the course of a season. Will it result in an “implosion” for the NFL? That seems like a stretch, but perhaps Thursday, Saturday and even Wednesday football simply won’t last.