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State of the Screens

The Average NFL Fan Will Watch 3,000 Commercials During Games This Season

By October 6, 2022No Comments

Five big questions re: NFL ad prices:
1) How many ads run during an NFL game?
2) How many ads will the average NFL fan see in a year?
3) How much do advertisers pay for spots during NFL games?
4) How do NFL ad costs compare to other types of content?
5) How much do various content types generate per hour in advertising revenue?

Big question #1: How many ads run during an NFL game?

Quick answer: 100+ (63 minutes).

Break down of an average NFL game (% of total) according to the Wall Street Journal:
1) Players standing around – 1h 7m (35%)
2) Advertising – 1h 3m (33%)
3) Other – 0h 34m (18%)
4) Replays – 0h 17m (9%)
5) Actual playing time – 0h 11m (6%)

Big question #2:  How many ads will the average NFL fan see in a year?

Quick math #1 on NFL game advertising for the average fan:
1) 4h 12m of NFL per week
2) 21 weeks per year (including playoffs)
3) 88h 12m of NFL per viewer/year
4) 33% of NFL broadcast is ads
5) 28h 56m of ads per year
6) 3,473 30s ad spots per year

Big question #3: How much do advertisers pay for spots during NFL games?

Quick answer: $75 CPM

Quick math #2 on NFL game advertising for the average fan:
1) 1h 3m of ads per game
2) 126 30s spots per game
3) $0.075 per spot
4) Each NFL game generates ≈ $9.45 in advertising revenue per viewer

NOTE: We assume all spots are sold to advertisers to keep the math simple.

Quick math #3 on NFL game advertising for the average fan:
1) 0h 20m of ads per hour
2) 40 30s spots per hour
3) $0.075 per spot
4) $2.95 in advertising revenue per viewing/hour
5) 4h 12m of NFL per week for the average fan
6) $12.40 in advertising revenue per viewer/week
7) $260.47 in advertising revenue per viewer/year

Annual revenue per user comparison:
1) NFL games (ads only) – $261
2) Netflix – $175

Big question #4: How do NFL ad costs compare to other types of content?

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

Ad minutes per hour:
1) NFL regular season – 20
2) Broadcast primetime – ≈ 16

Big question #5: How much do various content types generate per hour in advertising revenue?

Advertising revenue per viewer/hour:
1) NFL regular season (2021) – $2.95
2) Broadcast primetime (2021) – $2.46
3) Facebook (2019) – $0.60
4) 
Instagram (2019) – $0.43
5) 
YouTube (2019) – $0.27
6) Roblox (2021) – $0.07
7) Roku (2021) – $0.03
8) Vizio (2021) – $0.02

Why this matters: Since each of these is different, this is not an apples-to-apples comparison.  I find it interesting how much potential upside exists for the younger platforms.  For example, an NFL game generates 95X the amount of advertising revenue/hour as Roku.

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.