Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Why the NFL Hates Twitter

I was listening to 850 the Buzz sports talk on my drive to lunch today. The topic was NFL fines for players using Twitter.

The host was wondering why the NFL hates Twitter so much. I thought I would venture my guesses.

With Twitter, anyone can follow any player. They don't have to be invited to be friends as they would in Facebook or MySpace.

This lets thousands - even hundreds of thousands - of fans have a direct connection with their favorite players. There is no one in between. Read this as no control by and no payment to the NFL.

If an NFL player said the exact same thing to a friend, a print reporter, or a TV reporter would the NFL fine them. I don't think so. But the NFL has no way to control personal conversations with friends - free country and all that sort of thing. ( Hey, that might make a good joke -"An NFL player, a newspaper sportswriter, a TV Sportscaster and Twitter go into a bar")

With reporters the NFL may at least feel there might exist some adult supervision from editors. And if the reporter gets out of line, the NFL can just ban them from the games and locker rooms.

Then there is that contract package with the TV networks that pays billions. You've got to let those guys talk to players. Of course here the NFL and TV have exactly the same interest in keeping the NFL popular. Money, money, money. We all like money.

I guess a good question would be if I can get all my news about a player from the player himself, why do I need to watch interviews, read newspapers or listen to sports radio? There is a good answer. Do you guys at 850 the Buzz know what it is? Here is a hint - its not just the Buzz Babes.

To be kind to the NFL I am willing to believe they are just trying to help Twitter figure out how to make money. Contract with the NFL so all player tweets have to go through an NFL subscription. Twitter makes money, the NFL makes money - can I get a residual for the idea? If so, I like it.

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