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Public Perception, not Commercials, Might be NFL’s Problem

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NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. Photo: AP Images/Invision

National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell and his bosses, the owners, are again concerned about the loss of TV viewers for their product in 2016 and trying to figure out a way to get eyeballs back in front of TV screens. Goodell has a goal to reduce the time of every game by an average of five minutes.

That is actually easy to do, cut down on the time between plays. Goodell and the owners are also thinking about tinkering with TV commercials. In January, Baltimore Ravens owner Steve Bischiotti opined that there are too many commercials within the games which disrupts the viewer’s experience and perhaps less commercials would bring back viewers. But without the commercials, the NFL would not get CBS, NBC and FOX to give them billions for the programming. Goodell is also thinking that perhaps the league should limit the network promotions read during games for other shows but TV executives paying the league probably would object.

Perhaps fans are getting tired of franchise moves. There have been nine relocations since the early 1980s with one pending. Mark Davis and his Raiders going to Las Vegas. Most of the moves were made on the public dime.  There were also all the arrests over the past decade for murder, domestic violence and a variety of other crimes.

And there is also the head injury crisis, with the revelations that Dwight Clark has ALS and Gale Sayers is suffering from dementia last Sunday that could be the result of playing football. That issue that is not going away. There are too many games available, Sunday, and Monday and Thursday from the NFL, Saturday, Thursday, and Friday from the colleges.

Blue collar fans have been priced out and told watch games on TV. Ironically, owners want to have the TV experience in stadiums. It’s not about too many commercials.

By Evan Weiner For The Politics Of Sports Business

This article was republished with permission from the original publisher, Evan Weiner.

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