If the league is rockin’, don’t bother knockin’ it – Orange County Register

Maybe this is another reminder why, 50 years into its existence, Rolling Stone still rocks:

A story posted Wednesday under the headline “Why the NFL is Thriving, Not Failing” seems to be in direct contrast to what a certain Twitter account wants you to believe.

It actually backs it up with data rather than observational guesswork.

One section of the story that’s numbers-driven: Ratings.

“Week 13’s Eagles-Seahawks matchup on Sunday Night Football showed a ratings increase of 14 percent from the Week 13 Sunday Night Football game of 2016, a game that also featured the Seahawks. The next night, the Steelers-Bengals Monday Night Football game showed an increase of 30 percent over the Colts-Jets game of a year earlier. There’s little reason to think that having the rights to show an NFL game is a major burden or concern for these networks. …

“Before you ever count the revenue from a single ticket or Joe Flacco jersey, the league has already pulled in $7 billion per year from their TV deals. Why so much? Because no league does close to the same numbers as the NFL and the 2016-2017 seasons are barely any different in that regard. The Week 9 Sunday Night Football game between the Dolphins and Raiders finished with 16.36 million viewers; Game 1 of the NBA Finals this year between the Warriors and Cavs had 18.7 million viewers. For most of the season, the Raiders and Dolphins have been two of the least-watchable teams professional football has to offer. The Warriors and Cavs are two of the most star-studded basketball teams ever. …

“So NFL teams are doing more than fine in both ratings and attendance and we still have five more seasons under the current TV deal structure. By their next negotiation, with ratings trends still showing progress year-over-year when the games are intriguing or involve well-established brands like the Patriots, Cowboys and Packers, it seems probable that the NFL’s next TV deal will break its own personal records.

“As…

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