Friday, January 11, 2008

NFL Greed, Part 348

The NFL's lawyers are an active bunch. Earlier this month, they sent letters to a number of large theaters claiming that the NFL "copyright" would be violated if the theaters showed playoff games on their large screens.

That move is closely related to the NFL's "NFL Channel" gambit. If the NFL Channel is to succeed at extracting huge dollars from cable networks, then it is imperative that the NFL restrict broadcasts. They can call it "copyright" violations if they like.

In reality, it's a matter of squeezing more money out of people who watch football games on TV.

That calls for prohibiting large crowds from seeing the games, because (after all) if you don't wish to pay Warner Cable an sizeable premium to see the Packers on TV, you could go to a local theater instead, and pay for popcorn and libations.

Hooboy. That would cut back the NFL's dreams of revenue increases.

You can place large moneys on this: the "Big Ten Network" is watching this very carefully.

Some theater operators (and their lawyers) don't find the NFL's argument persuasive. Best wishes to them--let's hope they have large crowds on Saturday afternoon!


Neo-Con Tastic said...

I have to disagree.

The NFL owns this product and they can choose where it is viewed and under what circumstances.

This is really no different than capitalizing on movies or pay-per-views.

Dad29 said...

In the theater case, there are lots of legal-beagle details which are not printed in the newspaper; obviously, the theaters think they have a good case.

And the NFL does have rights; that's not an issue with me.

It's OK that the NFL wants to drive all viewers to their own channel, too.

However, it is NOT OK that the NFL will jam the costs down the throat of OTHER people by forcing cable companies to carry NFL Channel on the basic tier.

That means that the cableco's have to pay $X/subscriber, NOT $X/NFL-Game-Viewer.

IOW, NFL gets revenues they did not necessarily earn.

You call that "free enterprise?"