Mike Francesa Mike Francesa throws a free hat into the audience at th start of his radio show. People attend the WFAN’s Mike Francesa Summer Send-Off show at Bar Anticipation in Lake Como, NJ on August 23, 2019. Bara190823e

When Mike Francesa was the king of New York Sports Radio, his rants were something to behold. The Sports Pope doesn’t necessarily have his fastball anymore, but he still brings the heat when needed.

Last year, Francesa railed against the MLB, specifically the New York Yankees, for having games on multiple streaming services. And wouldn’t you know, Franecsa — not to be outdone by Big Action Bill on X, who brilliantly imitated the famed sports radio host’s likely rant against Peacock — went scorched earth on the NFL, who will carry the Miami Dolphins-Kansas City Chiefs playoff game exclusively on NBC’s streaming service.

“How many in America don’t have cable TV? How many in America don’t have smart TVs? How many people in America don’t know what streaming is, no less finding streaming or willing to pay an extra amount to get a playoff game? This is a joke that the NFL would do this with their playoff product,” bemoaned Francesa. “It’s bad enough they would do it with a regular season game on a Thursday night or to do it on a regular season game on a Saturday. But to do it with a playoff game is the biggest slap in the face to their national fanbase. People wait all year for these playoff games. They love these playoff games. And you’re gonna now charge them extra for a playoff game? You don’t give enough? They don’t make enough?”

Francesca’s outrage is palpable, and rightfully so. By demanding an extra fee for access to a playoff game, the NFL is erecting a paywall against a significant portion of its fanbase.

“The word is the NFL got $110 million to stream this game. From Peacock, they got $110 million to stream this one game exclusively on Peacock; that’s it,” Francesa said. “Is the way of the future? They’re gonna have a hard time doing it with playoff games, because there’s gonna be a tremendous fallout from this — and there should be. Because it is the utter, utterly disgraceful, greedy reach by the NFL. Like they don’t make enough money. Like their fans don’t get into their pocket for jerseys, for all kinds of NFL merchandise, for tickets that are very expensive across the country.

“They show up and are there religiously every Sunday, and now you’re gonna charge them for a playoff game? It is the ultimate slap in the face to the best and most ardent and most dramatically important fanbase in America. Nobody gets the ratings, not even close to what the NFL gets. It’s never enough. Anytime they can find another pile of money to grab, they grab it with both hands. And it never stops.”

Whether you agree with Francesa is sort of beyond the point here — and he’s not the only significant sports media personality who has come to this conclusion. And the “fallout” that Francesa predicts is not just disgruntled posts on social media; it’s a slow erosion of trust. However you slice it, Francesa’s point is that the move reeks of short-sighted greed as the shield ignores the fans who fuel the league’s billion-dollar engine.

[Big Action Bill]

About Sam Neumann

Since the beginning of 2023, Sam has been a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. A 2021 graduate of Temple University, Sam is a Charlotte native, who currently calls Greenville, South Carolina his home. He also has a love/hate relationship with the New York Mets and Jets.