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NFL Ad Revenue Declined This Season

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In-game NFL advertising revenue, which increased for several years, experienced a 1.2 percent dip this year, from $2.45 billion in 2016 to $2.42 billion, according to Adweek.

Early in the season the NFL was enjoying an increase in TV ad spending even though their ratings were declining. During the month of September, ad spending during NFL games was up 12 percent for NBC, eight percent for Fox and four percent on ESPN.

The average cost of a 30-second TV spot increased from $499,000 to $505,000, growing 1.2 percent this season. The decrease in overall advertising revenue for the NFL was caused by makegoods, which were actually down for most of the season when compared to 2016. But by December, the NFL owed ad time to sponsors where networks didn’t reach ratings guarantees.

In 2017, 23 percent of the NFL’s ad inventory was freed up for makegoods, an increase from 21 percent in 2016. It’s clear the NFL was not anticipating a second season with a near 10 percent drop in overall television ratings, because their makegoods surged by the end of the season.

Even as TV ratings drop and ad revenue declined in the regular season, the NFL is still seen as a viable investment. NBC Sports expects to attract a record setting $500 million in advertising related to Super Bowl LII on February 4th.

The league’s Thursday Night Football package garnered interest from a variety of media companies including, Amazon, Turner and ABC, while receiving actual bids from CBS, NBC and Fox.  In December, Verizon agreed to a new partnership with the NFL, paying the league $500 million annually, up from their previous $250 million per year contract.

Although NFL ad revenue declined by $300 million this season, NBC’s record setting day for the Super Bowl along with the interest its weakest TV package in Thursday Night Football received, will allow the league to present itself as strong moving forward.

Brandon Contes is a freelance writer for BSM. He can be found on Twitter @BrandonContes. To reach him by email click here.

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XFL Signs Exclusive Deal With ESPN

“Games will return in 2023. The season opening slate will be played February 18.”

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All 43 games in the 2023 XFL season will air on Disney’s sports networks. The entire schedule will be seen on ABC, ESPN, and FX. Dwayne Johnson and Dani Garcia made the announcement at the 2022 Disney Upfront presentation.

This will be the third iteration of the XFL. The first attempt in 2001 ended after a single season. The 2020 revival was shut down due to Covid. Johnson and Garcia and their partners purchased the brand two years ago for $15 million.

“The XFL will tap into sports fans’ deep love of football by emphasizing competitive action while dedicating itself to innovation and entertainment,” Jimmy Pitaro, Chairman of ESPN and Sports Content said in a press release. “You can see a great path to success when you combine the reach and influence of ESPN and Disney with the collective vision of XFL leadership led by Dany, Dwayne and Gerry.”

Games will return in 2023. The season opening slate will be played February 18.

“The XFL is going to be a league of passion, a league of pride, and a league of culture,” Johnson said at the event, promising that those three principles will drive every decision for the league.

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NBA Playoff Ratings Hit 8-Year Highs

“At 3.71 million, the average audience for games this postseason is up 14% from last year. It is up 4% from 2019, the last time the playoffs started on time.”

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More people are watching the NBA Playoffs than have done so in a long time. Through the first two rounds in 2022, the league is enjoying its best postseason ratings in eight years.

The average audience across TNT, ESPN, ABC and NBA TV is 3.71 million people per game. If you take the less widely available NBA TV out of the mix, the NBA is averaging 4.08 million viewers per game.

At 3.71 million, the average audience for games this postseason is up 14% from last year. It is up 4% from 2019, the last time the playoffs started on time.

The Boston Celtics have been one of the most reliable performers this postseason. They have been involved in two of the three most-watched games. Sunday’s Game 7 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks is one of two games this postseason that now rank as the most-watched early round games in a decade. The other was Game 1 between the Golden State Warriors and the Memphis Grizzlies.

Golden State has also been a hot draw. The Warriors have been involved in four of the seven most-watched playoff games.

With both teams still alive and plenty of star power left in the playoffs, the NBA is poised to deliver one of its most-watched postseasons in years.

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Domonique Foxworth: Tom Brady Contract Is About Impressing NFL

“I think that’s why the booths look the way they look. It’s because the league wants their games to feel big, and it’s worth it to them.”

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The shake-up of NFL TV broadcast booths has been one of the top storylines in the league this offseason.

Part of the reasoning is because of the massive sums of money involved. Whether it’s Joe Buck and Troy Aikman or Tom Brady, NFL broadcasters have been getting paid. And it doesn’t seem like the spending is going to slow down anytime soon.

Speaking to Bomani Jones on The Right Time, Domonique Foxworth said the NFL just wants to continue to get bigger and bigger even with its broadcast crews.

“These TV partners want to be in good with the league. And I think that’s what this Tom Brady contract comes down to,” Foxworth said. “I think that’s why the booths look the way they look. It’s because the league wants their games to feel big, and it’s worth it to them.”

Even with some feeling like Brady is uninteresting and likely won’t move the needle as an analyst, it’s the name recognition factor that will set the table for Brady in the booth.

“I do believe that if you turn on an NFL game, and Tom Brady’s talking about it, it feels bigger no matter what he’s saying,” Foxworth said.

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