The New York Post reports that TV executives were never terribly concerned that the 2011 NFL lockout would cause them to lose out on programming.
"There’s so many benefits to so many people that I was always relatively confident they’d get the deal done," Sean McManus, the chairman of CBS Sports, said.
The NFL is extremely popular, meaning that not only the players but also the owners had tremendous incentive to complete a deal. Sports business reporter Darren Rovell explains why:
"Sports is the only thing on television that is not TIVO-able meaning it’s either live or it’s garbage," Rovell said. "That’s really the value of sports and that’s what makes the advertising so valuable. Whether you go to the bathroom or not for the most part the ads are going to be on because you are watching live."
Advertising, then, is more valuable on sports broadcasts than on other types of programming. Also, the league draws huge audiences, helped along, the Post notes, by fantasy football and by high-definition television, which makes the games look incredibly vivid.
In other words, it’s a great time to be in the football business, and a bad time to be in the lockout business. The longer as the lockout stretched on, the harder it was to be certain that the two sides would reach an agreement, but the financial incentives involved probably suggested that we shouldn’t have worried as much as we did.