If there wasn’t some way that Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban couldn’t benefit from having better newspaper coverage of his team, we doubt he’d have come up with this “co-op” plan that he’s put forward in a recent blog entry (linked here), which we thank the Sports Business Daily to alerting us to about a week after the fact.
Yet, we’ll hear him out. We’ve always been impressed with his forward thinking on most subjects, and his aggressive approaching to fixing things that are broken.
Cuban’s correct assertion is that, “despite the huge volume of sports coverage (on the Internet), the local coverage of teams for the most part sucks.”
Because, in Cuban’s words, “newspapers are pushing themselves to the point of irrelevancy,” a new plan is needed. His shot in the dark: Start a company that pays writers to cover the teams, for the local newspapers, funded by the franchises.
“I know this is in violation of all previous principles of editorial church and state,” he says, “but then again, watching papers going out of business and not even being able to give themselves away means its time to start a new branch of that church. Having the world of professional sports realize the value of locally created content, available in an offline format, might just be a proactive step that saves us a lot of money in the long run
At worst, its a starting point for discussion.”
Dang it, he’s got a point there.
He also rightly points out that “the same problems that are trashing newspaper profitability are creeping up on websites. To have any dependency on independent websites for coverage of our leagues and teams, could turn into a big problem for us if the blogs and websites we think help us, disappear.”
For more of his plan in full, plus reader comments, plus Cuban’s response to some of those comments, click on that link above and just hope there’s no insider trading secrets revealed here.
One reader comment already: “Still, it’s like telling a man who’s falling 140 mph to earth to flap his arms.”
We’re still flapping.