NFL Commish Says Economy Helping TV Numbers, Hurting Ticket Sales



NFL commissioner Roger Goodell says the ailing economy (some call it a recession) I call it a depression, has helped build television audiences for NFL games. Speaking on CBS’ “60 Minutes,” to be aired tonight at 7 ET, Goodell says the record near 60 million people watching last Sunday’s conference championships show that.

Now imagine those numbers if Tim Tebow had been present. Certainly, the lockout has affected the game at the gate, but on tv it’s thriving. Yes, the economy is the driving factor, but people vote with their feet, and the cheaper option of watching it at home on tv (where the food and beer is also much cheaper) seems like the better option for most right now.

“People want to feel part of a group, feel like they’re connected, and right now during these difficult times, they can turn on free television and watch the greatest entertainment that’s out there,” Goodell said in the segment that airs tonight.

“They can forget their worries for just a few hours.”

From CBS Cleveland:

“Our biggest challenge going forward is how do we get people to come to our stadiums because the experience is so great at home,” he says. “When you turn on (a football game), you want to see a full stadium.”

Goodell was given a five-year contract extension this week, through March 2019.

The NFL recently signed nine-year extensions with its broadcast partners and could bring in as much as $3 billion in broadcast revenues by 2022. The league’s overall revenues for this year are projected to exceed $10 billion.

You see those huge numbers, and you see why the game is indeed built around the tube: big time advertising dollars. And the live product suffers because of that. Watching an NFL game in person is like watching a Notre Dame game at the stadium- lots of commercial breaks that hurts the flow of the game. The venue experience can be sorely lacking.

At least for me in my hometown, because I’ve just had too many unfortunate experiences with drunk, very undesirable type idiot Chicago Bears fans beating on each other; and trying to instigate me. And the halftime show usually isn’t worth the inflated price of admission.

And I care too much about the game to be distracted by all that nonsense. Apparently, most of America cares a lot too.

For this publication’s Super Bowl 46 game preview/prediction

Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports, an official Google News site generating millions of unique visitors. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Walter, Yardbarker, and Fox Sports

A Fulbright scholar and MBA, Banks has appeared on live radio all over the world; and he’s a member of the Football Writers Association of America, U.S. Basketball Writers Association, and Society of Professional Journalists. The President of the United States follows him on Twitter (@Paul_M_BanksTSB) You should too.


  1. Sportmentary says

    That’s a tough task. If the economy continues to suffer in the next few years, it will be tough to convince the working person to spend $75+ per ticket to attend a game.

  2. gonefishing1977 says

    Well it’s not a preference for me, I can’t afford to take my kids to the Boss Hog Bowl (Cowboy’s Stadium). I’m not willing to drop an entire paycheck to take my family to the game. I will spend $30 for some ribs & beer, grill them at home, and don’t have to worry about driving, plus I have HD.

  3. The average American family can’t afford to go to an NFL game. The ticket prices are too high, and so are the food and beverage prices. Maybe if the NFL wasn’t so GREEDY, more people would buy tickets and go to games.

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