Economics and the mid-life crisis have much in common: Both dwell on foregone opportunities

C'est la vie; c'est la guerre; c'est la pomme de terre . . . . . . . . . . . . . email: jpalmer at uwo dot ca

. . . . . . . . . . .Richard Posner should be awarded the next Nobel Prize in Economics . . . . . . . . . . . .

Sunday, November 07, 2004

The NFL, monopoly power, and consumer choice

Man, does the present NFL television contract ever piss me off!

It used to be that in this area we had our choice of watching one of somewhere between 3 and 5 games during each Sunday afternoon time slot. Today, the Eagles and Steelers are playing at 1pm, and we have only two different channels showing NFL games, both showing the Jets vs. the Bills - ugh! This is nothing like the good old days, when London, Ont., was the tv football capital of the world (a major attraction for hiring some people).

The NFL needs to learn from some of the great economics work done on quality and monopoly [e.g. Liebowitz and Margolis]. The teams in the league can surely increase their profits (and the interest in the game) by giving viewers more choice, not less. I know it is profitable for the league to
keep big markets satisfied, but ignoring the rest of us doesn't add to their profits -- it just encourages us to watch more curling or old movies or whatever. ...
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