The print news/magazine industry is in poor shape, and it’s a dying industry. That’s why I, along with nearly everyone else with a computer and an internet connection, was shocked when the NFL introduced its official print magazine late last year, and it comes as no surprise that the magazine is making a quiet exit.
The failure of an NFL run venture is in and of itself surprising. The magazine’s publisher, the Dauphin Media Group, is closing its doors as well.
The rise of the internet has largely been a death blow to the physical print industry. If you don’t believe me, just consider that you’re reading about the failing of a print magazine on a website (unless Ben Koo authorized a printed version of TGS that I didn’t know about).
Also consider where we now get the majority of our news, especially sports news. Either we’re watching Sports Center on ESPN or we’re reading Adam Schefter’s tweets as news breaks. The world has made a decisive shift over the past decade and a half towards the internet and the era of instant news feeds. We don’t like having to wait for a new magazine each month. We’d rather just hop on the internet and read about what’s happening right now.
The NFL is one of the most successful organizations in America today from a business standpoint. Even as the league is toning down the violence of the game, it continues to grow at an unbelievable rate. That’s why it’s so shocking that the NFL Magazine only made it 4 issues.
To the NFL’s credit, they are working to make the problem right for current subscribers. According to the magazine’s web page, customers will be refunded for all unserved issues. Magazines in general may soon be a relic of the past. The NFL should have been publishing a magazine decades ago. That magazine should have eventually become NFL.com. Chalk this one up as a rare business failure for the NFL. Don’t worry though, the NFL will be just fine without its printed magazine.