NFL Revenue Sharing: How it works

Jerry Jones is back up to his old tricks. After putting my 3-month old down after her 1 AM feeding I flipped on HBO. Joe Buck Live (very boring show) had Jerry Jones and Mark Cuban on as guests. And Jerry couldn’t resist preaching his newest cause: blowing up the NFL’s revenue sharing plan.

Now, as I’ve mentioned several times, I’m a conservative states’ rights kind of guy. When I hear revenue sharing my mind starts racing. Screw Jerry Jones. Revenue sharing is what has elevated the NFL to more money and more success than some countries. Wait, isn’t revenue sharing just another way to say redistribution of wealth? Well, if a person makes their money they should keep a majority of it. If a team’s not making enough money maybe they deserve to fail. But that would mean that my Jaguars would definitely fail… I break into a cold sweat and spend the rest of the night questioning everything I stand for in this life.

Jerry’s goal in all of this is just that; play on the heart strings of people (“Well, if he made the money he shouldn’t have to give it to the incompetent Mike Brown and the Bengals.”) I did a few Google searches with the goal of finding out what revenue is shared, and why Jerry has such a problem with it.

Revenue Sharing: Fairness or Socialism in Sheep’s Clothing?
The big 3 of sharing is TV Contracts, gate sales, and general merchandise sales.

TV Contracts (and other “generic” sponsorships): Dallas, Green Bay, Jacksonville, et al… receive the same check from the TV contracts. Seems appropriate as the NFL ensures that all teams have their games televised despite popularity (or lack thereof). As a conservative I find no fault in this. Every team is 1/32nd of the NFL and deserves equal share of general contracts, whether it is Gatorade or a National TV contract from CBS, FOX, NBC, and ESPN.

So what’s Jerry’s beef with that? The fact that Jerry went behind the NFL’s back and made deals with non-NFL sponsors Nike, Pepsi, AmEx, and Dr Pepper. The NFL, in retaliation, sued Jones. Jones countersued, and in the end they “settling”, though Jones was allowed to keep his stadium’s sponsors. My view as a conservative is that is fine: sell your stadium’s soul, if you wish, and have the urinals sponsored by “Bearnie Madoff Ponzi Schemes: Make Money the Easy Way”.

Gate Sales: Jacksonville’s ticket sale issues run even deeper than what some think. You see, the Jaguars do not keep their gate receipts, only 60%. The other 40% goes into a generic pot that is split between the teams (some Jag fans have cried “Why doesn’t Mr. Weaver just ‘buy’ up the seats so we can see the game on TV? That is why. Not only would the Jaguars be out that lost revenue, but they would also have to shell out an additional 40% to the league).

Jerry’s beef: I’ve invested almost $1 billion of my money plus another $900 million in tax payer money in my state of the art monument to myself, and I have to share 40% of my gate revenue with the Jaguars, Bengals, and Vikings? So what if I have to play those teams every 4 years, it’s my money and I should keep it. Maybe Mr. Jones has a point, I thought originally. However, as Lee Corso would say, NOT SO FAST MY FRIEND. Dallas’ stadium drives up league revenue and consequently drives up player costs (they get 60% gross of the NFL’s profits). Jerry, if you drive up mandatory player costs, and there’s still a minimum salary cap, then you sir need to pony up the cash. Maybe I’d be more sympathetic if there was no minimum cap, but as long as the cap is in place, and teams are required to spend a certain amount then sharing 40% of the gate revenue is needed.

Merchandise: If you go out to and buy a MJD jersey, guess what? That money isn’t going directly to the Jaguars. It goes to the league, and it divides the proceeds among the 32 teams.

Jerry’s beef: I see girls in Dallas running around in those pink Romo jerseys yet Jacksonville is making bank off of that. BULLSHIT! Not only did I have to put up with his f$*#()$# Jessica Simpson induced breakdown in December, but I’m not profiting as much as I should. Maybe Jerry has a point. But once again, the players get 60% of the gross revenue, and as long as its mandated that teams must spend a certain amount then it’s fair.

So what is Jerry's vision then: It's every man for himself. If a team wants to compete they'd better build themselves a new, $2 billion stadium to drive up revenue. Charge fans $30 for the right to stand around and watch the game from a foyer. Charge fans $1500 for the right to buy season tickets in the nosebleed sections.

Kids, dangerous days are ahead for the NFL.

-Further Affiant Sayeth Naught-


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