Win Or Go Home: NFL Entertainment Dominace Goes Beyond Parity

Last post explained how parity through a strict salary cap has contributed to NFL media dominance. Now will look at some of the other reasons they rule over all sport and entertainment properties. 

First off, as any television sport broadcasting expert will tell you, football is made for TV.  Plays begin with all participants on screen and usually last under 5 seconds. The remainder of time allows for a good number replays of past plays and close ups to build up to the next.  The basic rules of the game and lines on the playing surface are easy to follow. 

There are plenty of embedded stoppages in play for sponsors and casual phone glancing. The game can also be easily manipulated by officials (if desired) to keep scores close. I could go on and I am sure you have your own, but I want to get into what I believe are the more meaningful factors. A short, meaningful regular season and playoff matchups decided in one game. 

All the other three majors pro sport leagues have a multiple game series to determine their winners for extra tv and gate money, but not football.  The grueling nature of the sport wouldn't allow it and there is really no point to replay a contest against the same participants. Only baseball has a case for being a series with different pitchers taking the mound. Even they realized a best of 9 World Series was too long and brought it down to the standard 7 in the media era.  The greed for the easy cash grab of multiple games robs these leagues of the drama that comes with the finality of losing. 

That same greed creates regular seasons of a large number of games with little consequence. In today's world of gnat attention spans, you need drama to draw eyeballs. Fewer games bring more meaningful regular seasons and lose and go home playoffs brings in the casual fans who want to see something newsworthy.

The survive and advance model works for all of the top sport entertainment properties. From March Madness to the World Cup - winner take all is the winner in getting all the attention.

By Gregory Cawsey