What we can learn from the NFL business model

On 60 Minutes: The NFL Commissioner: Roger Goodell

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Roger Goodell presides over the most successful entertainment entity in America: the NFL, where revenues and ratings are soaring. Goodell takes Steve Kroft inside this $10 billion business, which Goodell says “combines socialism and capitalism.”

There are only two institutions in this country with the power to create almost limitless amounts of money. One is the Federal Reserve. The other is the National Football League. The Fed is run by Ben Bernanke, the NFL by Commissioner Roger Goodell. And Goodell is having a much better season. In the midst of an economic slump that has seen most American businesses struggle, the NFL’s revenues are soaring and its television ratings are through the roof.

Robert Kraft: I wish we could get people in Washington to lead the way Roger leads.

Robert Kraft owns the New England Patriots

The NFL commissioner Roger Goodell explains to Steve Kroft:

but the real key to the league’s success is its unorthodox business model. Under league rules the teams are required to share most of their revenue with each other. Which is always a sticking point with some of the most successful franchises and the more politically conservative owners.

Kroft: I mean that’s socialism, isn’t it?

Goodell: It is a form of socialism. And it’s worked quite well for us. So we try to combine socialism and capitalism. How can we socialize by sharing our revenue in a way that will allow every team the ability to compete?

It’s not just socialism. The NFL is essentially a cartel, albeit a legal one, thanks to a limited exemption from anti-trust laws granted by Congress more than 50 years ago.

MSNBC’S Martin Bashir: If socialism works for the NFL, why not use it in campaigns?

“It’s time now to clear the air and as Republican candidates continue to falsely accuse the president of wanting to transform America into a European socialist state, I’ve been particularly surprised that they haven’t targeted one of this country’s most popular industries,” MSNBC’s Martin Bashir said Thursday on a segment called “Clean the Air.”

“An industry that has not only adopted the essential elements of Socialism, but is proud of it! It’s an industry in which all 32 franchises share profits for a common cause,” Bashir said, failing to mention what that “common cause” is.

“This is no Economic Darwinism, no survival of the fittest – this is actually designed to ensure an equality of product for all consumers…The industry, of course, is the National Football League [NFL],” Bashir said.

Behind the scenes: NFL reviews controversial plays


About benvitalis

math grad - Interest: Number theory
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