Keep this in mind when looking at the current number of playoff spots among the four major professional sports league in North America:
NHL 30 teams, 16 playoff spots, 53 %
NBA 30 teams, 16 playoff spots, 53 %
NFL 32 teams, 12 playoff spots, 38 %
MLB 30 teams, 10 playoff spots, 33 %
With the NFL appearing all set to announce it will add another playoff team, everyone is in a huff. Why ruin a good thing?
Because unlike the NHL, MLB and NBA, the NFL has no real international market. And we ugly North Americans simply love playoffs. Give us games with meaning!
The NFL is not a publicly traded company that has annual reports, projected earnings and analysts researching its finances, the league operates as if it's on Wall Street ... with the incredible safety of being tax exempt. The league is like Wal Mart - if you are not growing you are dying.
Hockey, basketball and baseball all enjoy a thriving international presence to generate additional revenue whereas American Football has limited cash potential overseas. Despite playing those games in London every year, the interest in the NFL is nothing like the NBA in Asia or Europe. Or MLB in Latin countries, or Asia. Or hockey throughout Eastern Europe of Scandinavia.
Without expanding the regular season, which the NFL had to shelve in the latest round of collective bargaining with the player's union, the easiest ticket to more money is another playoff team. More shirts. More hats. Another game to sell at a premium to rightsholders, and ticket-buying customers.
And another shot to give Cowboys fans hope they can get in, only to be crushed in Week 17.
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