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State of the Screens

NFL Franchise Values Soar Driven by Ever Expanding Media Rights

By September 8, 2022September 9th, 2022No Comments

Ten big questions re: NFL media/advertising:
1) How much are NFL franchises worth?
2) How does the NFL make money?
3) How many people watch NFL games?
4) Which media markets deliver the highest ratings?
5) How much do networks pay the NFL?
6) Why is the NFL important to linear TV?
7) Is streaming the primary way to watch NFL games?
8) How much advertising revenue does the NFL generate during the regular season?
9) How much do ads cost?
10) Which advertisers appear most often in NFL games?

Big question #1: How much are NFL franchises worth?

Quick answer: The estimated value of an average NFL team grew by $1B last year to $4.5B!

Estimated value for NFL teams (YoY growth) according to Forbes:
1) 2021 – $3.5B(↑ 14%)
2) 2022 – $4.5B (↑ 28%)

Top 5 most valuable NFL teams (YoY growth):
1) Dallas Cowboys – $8.0B (↑ 23%)
2) New England Patriots – $6.4B (↑ 28%)
3) Los Angeles Rams – $6.2B (↑ 29%)
4) New York Giants – $6.0B (↑ 24%)
5) Chicago Bears – $5.8B (↑ 42%)

Big question #2: How does the NFL make money?

Quick answer: 61% of team revenue comes from media.

NFL team revenue breakdown according to Forbes:
1) Media – 61%
2) Tickets – 20%
3) Advertising/sponsorships – 10%
4) Other – 9%

Bottom line: A huge part of the NFL’s revenue comes from growing media rights deals.  By 2024, this distribution is projected to top $400M per team!

Big question #3: How many people watch NFL games?

NFL average regular season viewership (YoY change) according to Sports Business Journal:
1) 
2011 – 17.5M (↓ 2%)
2) 2012 – 16.6M (↓ 5%)
3) 2013 – 17.4M (↑ 5%)
4) 2014 – 17.6M (↑ 1%)
5) 2015 – 18.1M (↑ 3%)
6) 2016 – 16.5M (↓ 9%)
7) 2017 – 15.0M (↓ 9%)
8) 2018 – 15.8M (↑ 5%)
9) 2019 – 16.5M (↑ 5%)
10) 2020 – 15.6M (↓ 5%)
11) 2021 – 17.1M (↑ 10%)

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Big question #4: Which media markets deliver the highest ratings?

Top 5 NFL teams for home market household rating according to Sports Business Journal:
1) Buffalo Bills – 47.2
2) Kansas City Chiefs – 45.3
3) Green Bay Packers – 41.6
4) New Orleans Saints – 40.9
5) Pittsburgh Steelers – 36.2

Bottom 5 NFL teams for home market household rating:
1) New York Jets – 7.12
2) New York Giants – 8.39
3) Los Angeles Chargers – 8.49
4) Los Angeles Rams – 10.52
5) Miami Dolphins – 11.84

Big question #5: How much do networks pay the NFL?

Quick answer: In March 2020, the NFL agreed to a massive 11-year media deal worth $110B!

Flashback: NFL Pushes Massive TV Deal Over The Goal Line

Key details for the new NFL media rights deal:
1) Begins in 2023 and runs through 2033
2) ≈ $10B per year

Future NFL media rights by network according to Variety:
1) ESPN – $2.7B
2) Fox – $2.3B
3) NBC – $2.2B
4) CBS – $2.1B
5) Amazon – $1.0B
6) Total – $10.3B

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As Entertainment Strategy Guy points out, this seems less aggressive when applying the compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6% per year vs. total growth of 80%.

Big question #6: Why is the NFL important to linear TV?

Share of overall viewing time watching NFL in 2020 according to Nielsen:
1) Fox – 52%
2) ESPN – 20%
3) CBS – 13%
4) NBC – 11%

NFL share of top 20 shows on television according to Nielsen:
1) 2000 – 3
2) 2010 – 7
3) 2020 – 12
4) 2021 – 18 

Wow: The NFL accounts for 9% of all TV ad impressions!

Big question #7: Is streaming the primary way to watch NFL games?

Quick answer: Not yet.  NFL streaming accounted for less than 10% of total viewership last season.

Streaming share of total viewership by year:
1) 2013 – 0.5%
2)
 2014 – 0.5%
3) 2015 – 0.8%
4) 2016 – 1.2%
5) 2017 – 1.5%
6) 2018 – 1.7%
7)
 2019 – 2.3%
8) 2020 – 2.9%
9) 2021 – 5.8%
10) 2022 – 10.0%

Mr. Screens Crystal Ball: Amazon’s exclusive rights (outside home markets) for Thursday Night Football will grow the pool of streamers for NFL games.

Big question #8: How much advertising revenue does the NFL generate during the regular season?

NFL regular season advertising revenue (YoY growth) according to Standard Media Index:
1) 2020 – $3.9B
2) 2021 – $4.5B (↑ 14%)

Big question #9: How much do ads cost?

Ad price CPMs (18-49 demo) during 2020-21 TV season according to Standard Media Index:
1) NFL playoffs – $92
2) Broadcast primetime – $77
3) NFL regular season – $75

Big question #10: Which advertisers appear most often in NFL games?

Top advertisers during 2021 NFL season according to iSpot.tv:
1) Postmates
2) USAA
3) AT&T Wireless
4) State Farm
5) All-State

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Outstanding questions:

1) Will viewership for Thursday Night Football drop due to being streaming only?

 

2) Can the league grow overall viewership again in 2022?

Michael Beach

Michael Beach

Michael Beach is the Chief Executive Officer of Cross Screen Media, a media analytics and software company that enables marketers to plan, activate, and measure CTV and linear TV at the local level. Michael is also the founder and editor of State of the Screens, a weekly newsletter focused on video advertising that is a must-read for thought leaders in the advertising industry. He has appeared in such publications as PBS Frontline, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Axios, CNBC and Bloomberg, and on NPR’s Planet Money podcast.