When I start to think about the situation the United Football League currently finds itself in, a couple of phrases seem to come to mind. The first is short sighted, and the second is all of the UFL eggs in one basket. This league rushed to get itself on the field in 2009, and it seems its main strategy was a NFL lockout that would leave American football fans searching for a quick football fix. The hope seems to have been to be established enough that once the NFL started missing games the UFL would be an attractive alternative.
The problem with all that is the NFL is not going to miss a thing, and it seems very likely that they will get every game in as scheduled. That leaves the UFL without a viable TV partner and with sponsors afraid to anger the NFL running away from the upstart league. With the news that came down yesterday that training camps will be suspended for 30 days, and that the UFL will revert to its traditional fall schedule we really have to wonder if this league will ever take the field again.
The word is the owners are committed to lose 40 million dollars (the reported operating deficit of a third UFL season) and then call it quits. Without more outside help, this league will fold at the end of year three anyway. However, the UFL just paid to fly their players out to training camps and then return them home at league expense for the training camp cancellation. That means a league with revenue issues just had a big time expense hit the books. This additional loss is on top of the 40 million they were going to lose already.
Now the plan seems to be to try and get a partnership with the NFL. Sure, that is great for the UFL, but why would the NFL step up and help them out?
- The Business of the UFL
- Joshua Lobdell.com