TV executive talked to Roger Goodell about speeding up NFL games


NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell isn’t short on advice from TV executives about how to improve ratings.

In addition to a suggestion from FOX that the league has too many broadcast windows, CBS chairman Les Moonves said he talked to Goodell about speeding up games, potentially by reducing the number of commercial breaks.

“If there are ways of doing advertising in different ways that are equally beneficial, we’re looking at that, and we’re trying to make the game as good an experience as we could make it,” Moonves said, via Fortune.

The idea of “doing advertising in different ways” will not mean fewer commercials, but it may mean fitting the commercials into the game differently so that there are fewer delays, or shorter delays. Moonves also discussed with Goodell ways that the referees could see the replays more quickly so that replay reviews would be shorter.

Although the NFL remains the most popular programming on American television, last year’s ratings decline early in the season caused some consternation. The TV networks and the NFL don’t want to see another decline in 2017.

55 responses to “TV executive talked to Roger Goodell about speeding up NFL games

  1. Soon there will be ads visible from behind the benches, ads on jerseys and ads on the field. The English Premier League and the CFL do some version of all of these things now.

  2. Yea bring back the giant “TOYOTA RED ZONE” graphics during the plays. Maybe the commentators can announce “And that’s another FORD FIRST DOWN for Dallas….”

    That’ll definitely improve the product.
    Not sure if they’re completely out of touch, or they really are just that greedy.

  3. Score a touchdown, kick the extra point, kick the ball off, then go to commercial. No, commercial breaks after both kicks.

  4. You really can’t speed the game up, so cutting commercials is the only way. I wouldn’t mind in-game/on field advertising if there were a lot less commercial breaks.

  5. If any new thought doesn’t generate more money Roger isn’t listening.

    Only revenue generating ideas get any attention from the greedy clowns at 345 Park Ave.

  6. I know I’ve cut way back on watching games recently because of the incessant commercial breaks.

    Also, stop with the frame by frame replays. If it isn’t conclusive on a half-speed replay, then move on. With the super slow motion, the rules have become so overbearing, but if the refs only get a couple peeks at a half-speed play, maybe the quality of replay will improve along with the speediness.

  7. Hey NFL… how about getting rid of referee replay reviews? It seems like Blandino should be able to do it with a DirecTV pass… that is if Blandino was somewhat competent.

  8. Sixty minutes games with less than 15 minutes of actual game action that takes nearly 4 hours to complete. It simple has gotten boring to watch a full game when you can get RedZone on your phone while out and about doing other things.

  9. You can save 10-15 minutes just on replays. It’s a joke that a ref actually walks over to the sideline and gets under that hood, even though a ref in a booth could know the outcome in 4-5 seconds. I always thought the ref under the hood idea was put in place by those who were interested in sabotaging replay. Most of the time the correct call can be made, by radioing into the ref’s ear, before the ball ever stops rolling.

  10. I have the Dallas Cowboys Super Bowl tapped from the 1993 season. The flow of the game was incredible due to limited commercials, TV timeouts and other unnecessary stoppage…and mind you, that was the Super Bowl.

  11. I always drank Pepsi, but when I saw that Coke commercial I immediately went out and bought Coke. Traded in my Silverado for a Dodge Ram, when I saw that commercial.

  12. Economics says less commercials will allow you to jack up the price and make as much or more revenue…supply and demand

  13. Commercials are one thing, but they HAVE TO look at the rule book and flags. Flags are killing the game for me personally. I definitely want less commercial breaks as well, but the flags are out of control.

    And even if a flag is thrown, why does the official have to march to a specific spot on the field to make a big speech about it? Do like the NBA, NHL and other leagues and just do a quick hand gesture of the penalty, let the PA and TV announcers tell us what it is and keep the game moving. I mean, do we really need to know extreme details about every flag?

  14. Seriously?

    1. Simplify the rulebook.
    2. Hire competent referees, or hopefully the simplified rulebook is bearable for part time employees.
    3. No more TV timeouts that kill teams drives…
    4. No more TD celebration, commercial, extra point, commercial, then #5
    5. No kickoff, commercial, 3 plays, commercial, punt, commercial

    Seriously…between incompetent referees, TV timeouts, halftime shows, end of quarter breaks, its horrible. Its to the point where I start watching a game at halftime, then FFWD through commercials on my DVR, and Im caught up by the end of the 3rd quarter. Absolutely ridiculous that I can watch 30 minutes of football in less than the 3rd quarter…

  15. I don’t think the rule book, or the refs throwing too many flags is the problem. The problem is the players are committing too many fouls, and I believe they’re being coached to do so. They figure the advantage gained by cheating outweighs the punishment if they get caught. I’ll bet increasing the penalty for each violation would cure all the cheating very quickly. I mainly talking about the O-Line holding, the DBs grabbing, and the WRs using illegal picks.

  16. “Has anyone actually bought something because of a commercial?”

    A common misconception. Obviously billions of ad dollars are not spent every year for no reason. Everyone has made purchases because of commercials, some just don’t realize it.

  17. There has been a for rent sign on Goodell’s forehead for years. No takers.

    So, you’re saying the space is still empty?

  18. Just play each quarter straight through, and have a 5 minute break between each, with the normal halftime.

    Show the commercials during the breaks.

    With a 1:30 game, they could run 4 games in the space it takes to run 2. Just change the start times around a little.

  19. Not sure if they’re completely out of touch, or they really are just that greedy.



    They simply don’t get all this advertising will turn away fans but because it’s a quick buck they’ll do it.

    Welcome to the NFC divisional playoffs…sponsored by Ford and Audi.

  20. I just don’t watch unless the game is taped…..I cannot allow myself to spend 1.75 hours of my life watching commercials and penalties during a 4 hour game.

  21. Red Zone is awesome for early games. Unless my team is playing late afternoon I go do chores. Prime time games I PVR and start watching about 1.5hrs in to skip thru all the additional commercials

  22. gauchosporlife says:
    Feb 20, 2017 3:03 PM
    I have the Dallas Cowboys Super Bowl tapped from the 1993 season. The flow of the game was incredible due to limited commercials, TV timeouts and other unnecessary stoppage…and mind you, that was the Super Bowl.


    You may have the last functioning VCR in the country then….

  23. thetroofishere says:
    Feb 20, 2017 1:44 PM

    Here’s one thought to speed up the game…simplify the rule book, only flag egregious penalties and watch the quality and speed of the game improve.

    And you’ll want to keep the clock running while carting injured players off the field.

  24. The average NFL broadcast takes about 3 hours, 10 minutes.

    The length of a football game is 60 minutes.

    According to data, the average of actual football gameplay in each game comes to around 12 minutes. Total.

    In a 190 minute broadcast of a football game, you show us 12 minutes of football.

    Three time slots on Sundays, and we’re supposed to give you 570+ minutes for approximately 36 minutes of game play.

  25. There is no point in reinventing the wheel. The solution to this problem is real simple.

    Cut ad rates, and in the upper right corner of the screen have logos of various products instead of full blown commercial breaks throughout the game. Large enough so that they are visible, but small enough so they aren’t annoying.

    IIRC, that is what they used to do with soccer way back several decades ago. I think they only had commercial breaks at half time way back then.

    Of course, I expect these networks to do something that is annoying. Some still have those huge dopey pop ups in the middle of their television shows.

  26. The smartest advertising I have seen was when GM stopped providing trucks for MVP (and it was clear had he gotten a Truck who Brady would have given it to) Ford jumped in there and gave James White a truck on live TV. That cost them far less than a Superbowl ad slot and probably got them more recognition.

  27. Nascar used to run the ad while the race was on Madison ave said it wasn’t enough. Now the ads have sound and the race is silent. The ad box is larege the race box is small.

  28. Have you seen a college game lately? No one has because it takes 2 days to play one game. Nothing wrong with NFL time. Just the number of commercials they have to run to cover the ridiculous price tv pays.

  29. kheebner1990 says:
    Feb 20, 2017 2:33 PM
    Lower the number of commericials, but raise the price of them. NFL makes the same amount of money, the game speeds up. Simple economics.

    55 2
    Report comment


    Yeah but the company that is buying the ad space is getting less exposure for more money. Your “simple economics” theory only applies to the side that makes out in the deal

  30. Start streaming all games online. Problem solved.

    Cord cutters are giving up football along with all the other channels.

    And keep politics and protesting out of football. Football should be an escape.

    That should fix the biggest two or three issues.

  31. I suppose the solution couldn’t be fewer commercials and no increase in advertising? I mean, that would be what the fans would want, so definitely a no there…

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