The NFL commences to enormous appraisals in a major year for the alliance
The game, which finished in a 10-3 road win for the Green Bay Packers over the Chicago Bears, averaged of 22 million viewers for NBC. That is an expansion of generally 16% contrasted with the 19 million viewers who watched the comparable game a year ago, and is the most-viewed NFL Kickoff game since 2016, as per NBC.
The strong numbers are a bit of amazing — football fans like watching entertaining games, and this wasn’t one. There was just a single touchdown and the two teams consolidated for under 500 yards of complete offense.
It likely helped that the Packers and the Bears are among the league’s most prominent contentions, that the Packers have a fanbase that spreads a long ways past Wisconsin, and the opening shot games a year ago and in 2017 both had viewership influenced by weather.
In any case, Thursday’s ratings are an extraordinary beginning to a significant year for the NFL. This is the league’s centennial season, and it’s betting everything to celebrate, yet progressively noteworthy are two imperative arrangements coming up soon: the collective bargaining agreement with the players, which terminates after the 2020 season, and the TV rights deals that the league has with its broadcasting partners.
The discussions over the CBA are significant on the grounds that it separates the NFL’s revenue between the league and its players. On the off chance that the different sides don’t go to an understanding, it could prompt a work stoppage for the 2021 season.
The NFL remains hugely important to the networks. Notwithstanding the league having its viewership decline in 2016 and 2017 preceding bouncing back last season, it remains the greatest ratings powerhouse on all of television. What’s more, the NFL is important to the networks and their publicists in light of the fact that the league is massively popular, yet in addition since games must be observed live, which breaking points fans capacity to skip past commercials.
The NFL’s deals with NBC, Fox and CBS, which keep running until 2022, just as its agreement with ESPN, which keeps running until 2021, are fantastically lucrative for the league. What’s more, presently with the likelihood that new players, including tech companies, for example, Amazon, could get in the offering, there might be much more money in stake.
Jay Rosenstein, a former VP of programming at CBS Sports who is currently an adjunct professor at NYU’s Tisch Institute for Global Sport, revealed to CNN Business that since football is such a major draw, this current season’s ratings shouldn’t have much sway as the different sides approach exchanges, however the ratings still issue from a marketing perspective.
“The league would like numbers to be on an upswing for good PR as it prepares for upcoming TV rights negotiations. But all sides know that none of the incumbent networks can afford to lose the NFL,” Rosenstein said in an email. “And with other video wannabes wanting in, including ABC, the ratings almost are beside the point as a factor in those negotiations.”
Neal Pilson, a former president of CBS Sports, concurred, saying the ratings for a particular year are clearly important, yet are not going to decide the forthcoming TV rights negotiations.
“Not only are the ratings good, but the demographics of the audience are the best in sports — affluent, educated, the correct age in terms of selling products to the audience,” Pilson revealed to CNN Business. “The NFL is the Tiffany of all sports.”
So is there any ratings drop that could affect the NFL’s privileges deals in the coming years? “If the ratings were off 50%, sure, but that’s not going to happen,” Pilson said.