Cuban: With TV deal, NFL is 'hoggy'

Updated: March 24, 2014, 4:11 PM ET
By Tim MacMahon | ESPNDallas.com

DALLAS -- Mark Cuban, the outspoken Dallas Mavericks owner, predicts a drastic decline in the NFL's popularity over the next decade due to the league's greed.

"I think the NFL is 10 years away from an implosion," Cuban said Sunday evening when his pregame conversation with reporters, which covered a broad range of topics, swayed toward football. "I'm just telling you: Pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered. And they're getting hoggy.

"Just watch. Pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered. When you try to take it too far, people turn the other way. I'm just telling you, when you've got a good thing and you get greedy, it always, always, always, always, always turns on you. That's rule No. 1 of business."

Cuban was specifically referring to the NFL's recently expanding its television package. He considers it a poor business decision for the NFL, which consistently dominates TV ratings, to play games on days other than Sunday and Monday.

Cuban They're trying to take over every night of TV. It's all football. At some point, the people get sick of it.

-- Mark Cuban

In February, the league announced a one-year deal with CBS and NFL Network to televise Thursday night games. CBS will air the games during the first eight weeks of the season, simulcasting them with NFL Network. The league's cable network will exclusively show six Thursday night games later in the season with CBS' top announcing tandem of Jim Nantz and Phil Simms in the booth. NFL Network also will have a Saturday doubleheader in Week 16.

The NFL started a limited package of Thursday night games in 2006. NFL Network showed 13 Thursday night games last season.

"They're trying to take over every night of TV," Cuban said. "Initially, it'll be, 'Yeah, they're the biggest-rating thing that there is.' OK, Thursday, that's great, regardless of whether it impacts [the NBA] during that period when we cross over. Then if it gets Saturday, now you're impacting colleges. Now it's on four days a week. 

"It's all football. At some point, the people get sick of it."

Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones disagreed with Cuban's take.

"We certainly do a lot of work as you know before we jump on these things," Jones said at the NFL owners' meeting in Orlando. "Certainly I can see why he might not say that, that we're getting too saturated. But I think we've done a lot of work to think that we're not."

Cuban said the NFL is making a mistake by valuing television money over the convenience of fans who are used to planning for their NFL teams to play on Sundays with occasional Monday night games. He compared it to the decline in popularity of "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" after the game show expanded to air five days a week.

"They put it on every night," Cuban said. "Not 100 percent analogous, but they handled it the same. I'm just telling you, pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered."

Cuban expounded on his views Monday afternoon on Twitter.

Information from ESPNDallas.com's Calvin Watkins was used in this report.

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