Advertising revenue declined for NFL’s TV partners in 2017

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In the 2016 season, the NFL’s decline in TV ratings didn’t translate to a decline in advertising revenue for the league’s TV partners. The same can’t be said for 2017.

Commercials on NBC, CBS, FOX and ESPN for regular-season games in 2017 brought in a total of $2.42 billion in 2017. That’s a lot of money, but it’s a 1.2 percent decline from the 2016 regular season, according to Standard Media Index.

“For the first time since we have been tracking the market we saw a slight drop of in-game dollars,” said SMI Chief Executive James Fennessy in a statement to the Wall Street Journal. “Despite a fairly significant fall in ratings, CPM’s were strong and demand continued to be high.”

The problem facing the league’s broadcast partners is that they increasingly have to give away “make good” commercials when NFL games fail to reach projected viewership totals. Also hurting the NFL was that the two industries that advertise the most on NFL games — automobiles and consumer electronics — both cut back on ad spending.

24 responses to “Advertising revenue declined for NFL’s TV partners in 2017

  1. 1.2% isn’t a big deal until it becomes 3% next year and 8% decline the year after….then we have a trend.

    I’ve said many times over and over: Decades from now when fans discuss what were the main reasons for the NFL decline, the name Colin Kaepernick will come to the front of many people’s minds. He has single handedly started the divide amongst NFL fans that has tried to keep politics out of sports.

    Agree with me: Thumbs up. Don’t agree: Thumbs down.

  2. These players are going to stroke out when they find out they’re going to be losing money during the next CBA. And they most certainly will. The league doesn’t eat losses, especially ones caused by the players.

  3. Excellent humbling photo to use this week. A good reminder that as much as we fans would like to, we can’t win them all.

    Patriots fan.

  4. NFLs best days are behind it. It was the Fantasy Football craze, now which has fizzled. Reminds me of the Tiger Woods craze of the 2000s, couldn’t get on a golf course, now courses are struggling.

  5. I’m surprised companies like pepsi and coke or the beer companies even bother to advertise during games. Unless you’re trying to get word out on a new product, how many people can you realistically expect to buy your product based on a commercial?

  6. This article fails to mention that ALL television ad revenue has fallen in 2017. In fact, digital ad revenue ($209 billion) has finally surpassed the traditional tv ($178 billion) worldwide.

    Stop making it seem like only NFL is declining on tv. It’s affecting EVERY sport and tv show across the board. It’s not like NASCAR has anthem protestors, right? Yet they’ve dropped of 45% in the last five years. Explain that.

  7. akira554 says:

    January 29, 2018 at 12:29 pm

    This article fails to mention that ALL television ad revenue has fallen in 2017. In fact, digital ad revenue ($209 billion) has finally surpassed the traditional tv ($178 billion) worldwide.

    At the end of the day, the only thing that matters is that if less people are watching, the networks get less money, which means they’ll be willing to pay less on the next TV deal. The NFL needs to be able to tap in to the digital advertising if they haven’t already or the players are going to end up losing money when the next CBA is negotiated

  8. It started about 4 or 5 years ago when I started to watch less and less football. I believe it began with instant replay and then more commercials. There was a flow to the game, that doesn’t exist in todays game. Delay, delay delay. Now, I’ll go under the hood to see if I made the right comment, right after this commercial.

  9. Too many commercials,the kneel downs and all the protests…just shut up play football and you’ll be fine

  10. The game is trending towards a watered down safe bleached version of football that isn’t nearly as exciting to watch. The time is not far off that there will be flags to be pulled anywhere outside of 5 yards from the line of scrimmage. You think I’m crazy? Target zone has been narrowed down to 2-3 feet, and the term ‘defenseless’ is being used more and more. Receivers are now protected during pass catching….you can’t trend this direction without finally taking out hitting all together down the line.

  11. At least 1/4 of the people I know that watch NFL football are watching it on some other device that isn’t a television set. It seems to me like overall viewership is up, but watching on traditional TV’s are down. Other TV programming is actually down much more than NFL games.

  12. it’s like baseball trying to speed up the game and yet not addressing the real problem: too many damn commercials, crappy ones at that. think replay exists solely for more commercials. a one hour game should not take over three hours to play…simple!

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