NFL Signs $27.9 Billion Deal for 2014 – 2022 - Page 2
Another interesting dimension to the NFL is it gives networks a big stick to wield when they negotiate with cable operators. If cable companies want to raise rates higher than networks are willing to go, threatening to stop broadcasting and have the cable customers miss then next episode of “Law & Order” doesn’t pack nearly the punch as threatening to withold Sunday’s NFL games. The networks know that if you threaten to take away football: you’ll have outrage and fans switching to the next satellite provider so they can get their Sunday fix. So, in the “poker game” that is cable fee negotiations: the NFL is definitely a high card to hold in your hand.
Now, the inevitable question is: “how high can this go?” Cable companies are already dealing with people unplugging their boxes and getting their media over the internet via computer, or game console, or streaming services, or some other delivery method. The reason cable rates keep going up are these huge sports packages. This makes sense if you watch sports: but if you have cable TV and watch it for news, Cartoon Network, and the occassional evening sitcom; then cable’s just getting more and more expensive for “no good reason.”
It’s a tricky balancing act that cable companies have to play. There’s always talk of creating a “menu” of channels, and just letting people choose what they want to see. However, one problem with that is you don’t get the “subsidy” of the “Garden Channel” people helping pay the costs associated with these huge sports package contracts – so I wouldn’t look for that anytime soon.
So, keep your eyes on 2022 when this NFL contract runs out. Chances are, it will be a whole different playing field in the TV network and cable arena.