Revenue sharing

Phil Miller at The Sports Economist writes about the abandonment of revenue sharing in NFL. The concern expressed there is that the competitive balance will be harmed in doing so, and the example used of a system without revenue sharing is college football (pains me as a Brit to write that – we all know football is what we play here in the UK ;-)), where 11 of the last 14 years have seen “big” teams win the championship.

Another pertinent example of a lack of competitive balance allied with an absence of revenue sharing comes from the English Premiership, where in the last 18 years the Premiership has been shared between Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea in 17 of those years, with plucky (but well funded) Blackburn Rovers the only winner outside this select band of clubs.

Do such examples conclusively show that the NFL’s competitive balance will be harmed by this move? It’s a question I’d be interesting in investigating, although of course any investigation is hampered by the fact we do not have parallel universes in which to subject one Premiership to revenue sharing and to leave the other one as it stands. Comparing different leagues is a possibility, although many other factors such as league size, demographics and other regulations imposed may matter.


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