The NFL is guilty of contributing to monopolizing goods and services it's league offers. For a league that has grown through its' fan base, they do not seem to care about their fans at all.
The NFL has started off small. Do you remember the days when we could buy "Starter" NFL Jersey's for $40? I do. Now if my son wants a jersey of his favorite NFL Player, I have to pay a minimum of $70 for a print jersey that he will outgrow in a year. Why? Because the NFL has an exclusive deal with Reebok. Reebok produces every NFL jersey. Why? Because Reebok paid the NFL a ton of money, which to me, an exclusive deal means a bribe. What else do you call paying someone a ton of money so they won't let someone else have rights to the same thing?
As I said earlier, the NFL started off small on the exclusive rights deals. Putting Gatorade coolers on the sidelines, and not allowing Powerade or All Sport didn't seem like a big deal. The problem is, when no one complained, it opened a gateway to evil.
In the past 8 years, we have seen the NFL strike deals with Reebok, EA Sports, and Direct TV to name a few. What does that mean for all of us? Well for one, when there is no competition, there is nothing to keep the price down or the quality up. For Reebok to charge twice what Starter did for a screened jersey is insane.
When the NFL gave the official NFL license to only EA Sports for the Madden Franchise, EA immediately dumbed down quality on their extremely popular game. Has anyone who plays the game seen any dramatic improvement since 2005? I know I haven't. And why? Because there is no competition for football games anymore, because people will buy the game due to the NFL Logo, Teams and Players.
What about Direct TV exclusively having the NFL Sunday Ticket? For one, why do I have to purchase every single NFL Game for the season when I only have one favorite team? Is it fair that I have to pay nearly $500 just to see my favorite team 16 times? What about people who live in apartments that don't allow satellite dishes? I guess the NFL doesn't mind alienating them, I'm sure due to the 1 Billion Dollar deal per season they have with Direct TV.
Oh, but what happens when someone does something unfair to the NFL? Such as Comcast, who didn't believe NFL Network should be on their Extended Basic Cable Package? Big deal, Comcast doesn't believe enough of their viewers watch NFL Network to warrant the extra charge on the Extended Basic Cable package, so they offer it as a separate package, for little more than $2 a month. Oh, here comes the big bad NFL. Not liking that Comcast won't put their channel on their package, takes the case to court to try and force the cable network to incorporate it into their package.
I didn't see Comcast go after the NFL when they gave exclusive rights for the Sunday Ticket to Direct TV. Why can't Comcast have something like they do with College Football or the NBA, where if the game isn't being shown on cable, you can purchase it, week by week?!
Plain and simple, I know the answer to all of this is the fact that the NFL is a business. However, they seem like one of the few businesses that can get away with murder and come out smelling like a rose.