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State of the Screens

Now More Than Ever, Networks Need A Big Score From NFL Broadcasts

By July 10, 2020November 15th, 2021No Comments

Bottom line: No NFL = trouble for TV networks.

Why this matters: The NFL accounted for 41 of the 50 most-watched TV programs in 2019 and is a significant driver for advertising revenue.

Quote from John Kosner – President @ Kosner Media:
“It’s practically the only thing on the minds of the networks. If you lost an NFL season, you’re looking at a financial hemorrhage.”

Advertising revenue by the network from NFL (% of total) according to iSpot:
1) Fox – $2.0B (40%)
2) CBS – $1.5B (25%)
3) NBC – $1.5B (20%)
4) ESPN – $500M (20%)

Advertising revenue by league:
NFL – $5.5B
NBA – $1.5B
MLB – $700M

Big question #1: Does the NFL need fans in the stadium to survey financially?

Quick answer: No. Stadium revenue accounts for ≈ 30% of the leagues $15B in revenue.

NFL average TV ratings for the regular season (YoY change):
2015 – 18.7M
2016 – 16.5M (↓ 12%)
3) 2017 – 15.0M (↓ 9%)
4) 2018 – 15.8M (↑ 6%)
5) 2019 – 16.5M (↑ 4%)

Quick math on NFL advertising revenue YoY (2018-19):
Viewership – ↑ 4%
2) Ad spend – ↑ 10%
3) # of spots – ↑ 2%
4) $/spot – ↑ 9%

More #1: If NFL can pull off playing 2020 season despite hurdles, expect the world to watch like never before

More #2: How NFL is set, if needed, to shake up its schedule

More #3: Meet the Magician of NFL Broadcasts

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.

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