Friday, July 8, 2011

The NFL and NBA Lockouts

Looks like there is a distinct possibility that two of the most recognizable professional sports leagues in the world won't be playing this fall.

The NBA and NFL are both in lockout. That means that players can have no contact with their teams and leagues. Some may blame greedy owners, others may cite the players as being at fault. In reality, different circumstances are behind both labor issues.

In the NFL, players and owners are debating a number of issues. Some owners want to expand the season to eighteen games without increasing roster size. The season already takes a huge toll on certain positions, such as running back. Quarterbacks would certainly be much more vulnerable to injury, barring radical changes in the rules. NFL players cannot withstand eighteen games plus playoffs and hope to have lengthy careers. NFL owners and players are also having trouble deciding how to split the massive profit pie. The NFL only loses if the season is postponed or cancelled. The owners are in danger of messing with one of the most popular sports brands on Earth.

The NBA is actually in trouble. Twenty-two franchises have reported financial losses in the past year. Some franchises will actually do better financially if there is no season. The NBA wants to move towards the NFL model with more revenue sharing among teams to keep the league solvent and help small market teams compete. Players fear that such moves will reduce contracts and are resistant.

Both leagues must be concerned if they don't end up playing this year. In a down economy, people must be more picky about how they spend their money. Both leagues could lose more fans to the college versions of each sport. It's time for the NFL and NBA and their players to find ways to earn money and keep fans.

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