Views: 146, Date:11/Nov/2016


As Ratings Plummet, N.F.L. Considers Reducing Ads and Length of Games


N.F.L. Commissioner Roger Goodell said on Thursday that the league was looking at a variety of ways to shorten game broadcasts, including trimming some advertising, to keep the action moving.

The league has seen its television ratings plunge this season, something that Goodell has said is related to a number of factors, including the intense interest in the presidential election, as well as shifts in the way fans have been watching games.

Though television ratings are down by double digits so far this season, Goodell said that N.F.L. ratings had risen 27 percent in the past decade even as ratings for prime-time television had fallen 36 percent. Speaking on Thursday at the annual DealBook conference hosted by The New York Times, he called this year’s decline “cyclical.”

Goodell noted, though, that the pace of games could also be a factor in the ratings decline. Fans have complained for years that games are too long, and they frequently express annoyance at the number of commercial breaks and video reviews. Last season, the average length of regular-season games, from kickoff to final whistle, was 3 hours 8 minutes, six minutes longer than in 2008.

Goodell said the league was considering a number of potential solutions to improve the pace of games, including running fewer advertisements and changing when they run. The league is also looking at ways to speed up video reviews by its officials as well as the time it takes referees to announce penalties on the field.

“We want to take as much what we call dead time, non-action out of the game, so that we can make the game more exciting,” Goodell said.

The league has expanded the number of games it plays on Thursday nights and overseas, leading some to speculate that the N.F.L. may be reducing interest in the game. Goodell said he was mindful of that possibility.

“Every game counts, so that makes our inventory incredibly valuable,” he said, adding that the league has to be careful not to saturate the market.

Goodell said he was aware of a surge of complaints that officials were botching calls on the field. He said the league was looking at how best to use technology to improve officiating without slowing down the game. “I was at Giants Stadium in the parking lot last weekend, and I got a lot of feedback from fans,” he said.

Goodell was uncertain how the election of Donald J. Trump who brought a lawsuit against the league three decades ago — would affect the N.F.L. He noted that Trump favored less regulation, but he said that the primary concern for the league was its ability to reach fans through the media and technology. It was unclear what changes, if any, a Trump administration might make that would affect those industries.

Source:NY times






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