President Trump sent out a tweet on Tuesday morning rhetorically asking “Why is the NFL getting massive tax breaks while at the same time disrespecting our Anthem, Flag and Country? Change tax law!”. The statement has caused some confusion amongst the public, as the NFL voluntarily relinquished its federal tax-exempt status in 2015. However, the league does still receive subsidies (worth billions), on the state level, for the construction of privately owned stadiums. In October 2016, the Nevada state legislature approved the expenditure of $750 million, in public money, for the construction of Mark Davis’ new Las Vegas football stadium.
Howie Long-Short: It is important to distinguish fact from fiction. While it is true that the league office was tax-exempt prior to 2015 (NHL and PGA Tour still are), the 32 teams were not. All revenues generated from sponsorships, broadcast deals, and ticket sales have always been taxed. The only untaxed money were league office profits, estimated to be worth $10 million/year. A drop in the bucket for a company that will generate $14 billion this year.
Fan Marino: 45 also found time to opine on ESPN (DIS) SportsCenter Anchor Jamele Hill, saying “with Jemele Hill at the mike, it is no wonder ESPN ratings have tanked, in fact, tanked so badly it is the talk of the industry!” Hill, who previously referred to the President as a “white supremacist” is currently on suspension from the network for a 2nd violation of “social media guidelines”. I’m no fan of SC6, but I’m certain cord cutting, the proliferation of streaming/OTT services and a shift to digital media consumption, all rank higher on the list of reasons why ESPN subscription numbers (and hence ratings) are down.