I think the first crack in the bubble is NFL Thursday Night Football.
It has been the ONLY live content on the NFL Network (which in many markets is on a premium tier).
About the only network that has less live content (that people might watch) than the NFL Network is the LHN Network.
A few years ago, the NFL realized that they could gain more revenue by selling rights to the Thursday Night games than restricting it to the NFL Network (which a lot of people don't get).
First they sold the Thanksgiving late game to NBC, so that NBC, Fox, and CBS each get a game on Thanksgiving. Nice new slug of revenue for the league.
Next they sold the first half of the year's worth of Thursday NFL games to CBS (I think CBS and Fox were given the opportunity to bid on them).
Another nice new slug of revenue for the league.
So now the number of live games exclusively on NFL network is reduced to perhaps 7-8 (second half of season on Thursday nights, and maybe a Saturday games around Christmas ?).
IF cable moves to a la carte, NOBODY is going to be willing to pay for the NFL Network. And they can realize more money by selling those other Thursday games to some network and shutting down NFLN. Anymore, NFLN just provides background noise in sports bars, with round-the-clock NFL Films (with John Facenda and the gridiron warriors on the frozen tundra of Lambeau Field...."
tute, here is another article on discussion of rating declines in the NFL https://www.yahoo.com/sports/news/seatt ... 33587.html
It probably does have something to do with spreading your product so thin by adding extra games on Thursday.
The issue has more to do with greed and its starting to hurt the networks that are pushing this type of traditional games onto fans and believe fans will just accept the change and be happy to simply watch sports.
Everyone laughed at the old Big East for trying out Thursday night football on ESPN many years ago because the Big East needed the exposure. Now we have the NFL intruding on college football adopted extra night of Thursday. College football traditionally is played on Saturday for many reasons that make the sport so special. Specifically many college football fans need to travel to their old college towns to watch the games.
NFL was a traditional Sunday sports and then TV pushed to extend the weekend to Monday night football which made some sense for fans. This was fine for traditional networking which most fans had access without necessarily having to pay for the cable subscriptions. ESPN tries to take advantage and jumps in a outbids the traditional networks because ESPN has to try a keep the bleeding from losing cable subscribers by adding something fans will have an interesting in watching.
Now we have college football encroaching on traditional Friday nights that have been traditional of high school football. The Big Ten is the latest power league with a need for greed to further impact sports by overlapping with the sport that produces the players for these power leagues. The Big Ten has to move to Friday to appease its new multi million dollar tier 1 contracts.
Did anyone ask the fans if they really wanted these type of changes? The answer is most likely no because the networks and the college conferences and the NFL have this sensational appetite for additional revenue.
What happens is the NFL is starting to lose fans, ESPN is bleeding cable subscribers on a monthly basis and the fans are stuck with changing traditions and having to adjust to something that did not necessarily ask or want.