The National Football League’s Draft is dependent upon the college football industry, which serves as a farm system or a free research and development laboratory for the 32 teams.
So how is the farm system doing? It appears it is not under siege as suggested a few years ago by industry leaders. According to the National Football Foundation things were great in 2016 on the consumer end. Business was up. The NCAA’s 668 football programs drew 49,315,857 customers which was an increase of 257,891 over the 2015 season.
The American Athletic Conference and the Sun Belt set records for single-season total attendance. Division II attracted a single-season record 3,217,080 total customers in 2016.
On the television side, in 2016, the NFL lost viewers while the college game seemed to hold its own as more than 179 million people in total watched more than 100 billion minutes of games on ESPN’s television networks, an increase from the 2015 season. ESPN’s networks had their best opening weekend ever, reaching more than 81 million fans from September 1-5. FOX Sports recorded its most-watched college football season ever in 2016 with an average audience of 1.32 million viewers on the FOX broadcast network and FS1. FS1 had a 23 percent viewership increase over 2015.
On the digital side, ESPN college football games were streamed on 15,128,000 unique devices during the season. All in all, good numbers.
College players should a get raise but wait, they don’t get paid for performing they should be happy with a scholarship and just shut up and play because that’s what the industry wants, kids who would play the game for nothing until the pros call their names.
By Evan Weiner For The Politics Of Sports Business
This article was republished with permission from the original publisher, Evan Weiner.