Mark Cuban, current owner of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks, has recently started talking about creating another pro-football league that will attempt to piggy back off of the NFL’s ratings dominance. He feels that if they were to play on Friday nights that they could very well become a success. After seeing countless failures spring up since the success of the AFL, I asked myself “Does America really want more pro-football?”
To me the answer should be an obvious NO. The NFL is successful for more than the love of the game. The NFL is successful for its leadership, marketing power, image, and money. No other professional sports league can compare to what the NFL front offices, and head office, can offer. None of the “Big 4” leagues can compare to the NFL. Even NASCAR, a once one dimensional sporting event, draws in higher ratings than the NBA, NHL, and MLB. While the NFL may not be perfect, it is the best sports option out there in todays television market.
The NFL is also smart enough to know that trying to take away from other forms of football will only hurt itself. The league never plays on Friday nights for one reason only, to never take away from high school football. The NFL is bright enough to realize that trying to compete with High School and College football will only limit the number of viewers for their games. In Mark Cuban’s league, they plan to play on Friday nights only.
In my opinion, Mark Cuban should try to compete with other pro-leagues, instead of the NFL. If you look at the number of former pro-football leagues, you would be amazed. The NBA battles lower ratings due to image problems and a long season, same for MLB and the NHL. People are rather apathetic towards these 3 other leagues now. If somebody were to try and actually create a league with some solid leadership and marketing, they could easily take the disenfranchised fans and become the AFL version of that sport. Wasting your time on attempting to steal from the NFL will only end in failure, just ask Vince McMahon.
However, if the NFL is not careful, it too could suffer from an image problem. More pro-football players are experiencing legal problems that ever before it seems. The Pac-man Jones and Michael Vick issues are the top headlines of the month, more important than the NBA finals. If Cuban is depending on the NFL suffering from an image problem in order for his league to be successful, he needs to reassess his plan. For now, the NFL is still the king of the sports world.