The NFL was founded on September 17, 1920 and was known as the American Professional Football Association (APFA). It was renamed in 1922 as the National Football League or NFL. In 1920 there were eleven football franchises to form the first professional football league compared to the 32 teams that form the league now. The original teams are: Canton Bulldogs, Cleveland Tigers, Dayton Triangles, Akron Professionals, Rochester (N.Y.) Jeffersons, Rock Island Independents, Muncie Flyers, Decatur Staleys, Chicago Cardinals, and Hammond Pros. Jim Thorpe was elected as the league's first president. In 1970 NFL's rival league AFL merged their schedules and formed two conferences in which the AFL became AFC and NFL became NFC.
Revenue sharing is what made the NFL a powerful and economically successful sports business model for these times. The then commissioner Pete Rozelle persuaded NFL governors to share the greater part of their revenues equally. With this method there wasn't much in it for big-market teams, but by agreeing to the system of socialism and by protecting the competitiveness of small-market teams such as Green Bay, they built the idea for the great commercial power it has become. Revenue sharing was a brilliant idea because it worked. It succeeded because network television sports were growing fast and massive; also football games were perfect TV property. Unlike baseball and basketball, football teams play once a week and this opened up the opportunity to turn each game into an event. National broadcasts contracts, divided equally without considering to market size, became the NFL'S vital source of revenue. Currently the NFL is carrying out a funded revenue program to help protect its small market franchises. The league already shares certain revenues but this new program would allow small market franchises to get money from an additional pool funded mostly by top revenue-generating teams. Other reasons why revenue sharing works is because NFL...
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