The NFL has decided to take steps aimed at improving the TV presentation of its games, with specific focus on pace. To do that, the league actually went to the homes of fans to “replicat[e] the game experience.”
That’s what NFL COO Tod Leiweke told the second annual Geek Wire Sports Tech Conference at CenturyLink Field, via Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times.
“We’re really starting to study how people are watching games,’’ Leiweke said. “And we’re doing it in really, really interesting ways.’’
Among other things, the league is using eye-tracking technology in fan homes to monitor the things they follow during the games, along with what they do during commercial breaks. The study has contributed to a decision to reduce the total number of commercial breaks from five per quarter to four.
“They want a pace of play that doesn’t involve us chopping things up,’’ Leiweke said. “[Y]ou’re going to see, next [season] really working hard to tighten up that game presentation and present the game with more of that pace.’’
It’s all part of an effort to deal with any ever-changing present that continues to raise questions about the future, given the explosion of options that consumers now have when it comes to the many different ways to spend their time — considerably more than the days when the options were to watch one of three channels on TV, read a book or a magazine, or stare off into space like David Puddy.
“Anyone who thinks they know exactly what’s going to happen is not telling you the truth,’’ Leiweke said. “Because it’s very, very hard to tell, in this rapidly changing world, what this is all going to look like in 2025.’’
It’s very, very to tell what it’s all going to look like in 2017. For those who watch NFL games, it’s apparently going to start looking a lot different.