Dear NFL, networks, and sponsors,
It's about your product and my declining interest. Years ago, regardless of whether the Bears were in the playoffs or not, when the playoffs were on TV, I watched every game, every moment I could. In fact, I pretty much made sure I watched that way all season long. All day on Sundays, plus Monday night and any extra games, plus lots a pre and post game coverage.
This year, my total time investment in watching the playoffs on TV was about two hours, and it was only because I had nothing else to do at the time. Now it is true that I watched a lot of NFL football on Sunday during the year, but that had as much to do with hanging out with my friends and fantasy football, as anything to do with your product.
So what has changed that caused this hard core football fan to give a big yawn to the playoffs? It's fairly simple: The football games on the NFL Network.
When the first Thursday night games were played on the NFL Network, I was angry. My cable company didn't carry the NFL network and it was difficult to get out and see the games at a bar or friends house. I went out a couple of times to see my Bears, or maybe for a particularly compelling match up, but for the most part I learned something very interesting about football.
I can live without it.
Did you hear me? I said I can live without your product. Your arrogant power play to try to force the cable companies (who get no love from me) into carrying your network on basic cable failed, and it failed epically. I just don't care whether I watch the games any more.
Yes, I'll probably watch the Super Bowl, but it will be about being with friends and 'the story' of the Saints. I will probably watch next year too, but if there is no season in 2011, who knows, maybe this once hardcore fan will no longer even be a casual one.