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{ Despite the world’s worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, the NFL continues to experience unprecedented growth in both revenue and popularity. }
Author: NFLPlayers.com Posted: 2/16/2010
  • In 2009 the NFL generated record revenue; while in 2008, the NFL experienced its third most profitable year ever.


  • The NFL generated $8.8 billion in gross revenue in 2009, more than any other league.


  • In 2009, in the midst of the recession, average team profits increased by 3.5%, while labor costs increased by only 3.4%.


  • In 2009, average team operating income was $33.4 million, a 1013% increase from 1997 when the average operating income was nearly $3 million.


  • The league’s revenue from its contracts with CBS, NBC, ESPN and Fox generate approximately $95.8 million per team, and non-network media contracts with providers like Comcast and DirecTV generate another $45.8 million each.  That is roughly $141.6 million per team just from television revenue.


  • Despite NFL Chief Labor Negotiator Jeff Pash’s contention that 75% of new revenue under the 2006 CBA has gone to player costs, operating income has dramatically increased since the 2006 CBA with the league posing its highest average operating income ever in 2009--$33.4 million.


  • In the three years since the 2006 agreement was reached, NFL teams have seen their operating income increase at an annual average rate of 29%,


  • Following one of its most watched seasons in 2009, the NFL’s television ratings and viewership for the 2010 season increased markedly, making the 2010 season the most-watched in NFL history


  • In 2010, each NFL game was watched by an average of 17.9 million viewers, up 13% from last year's 16.6 million. That's the highest average game viewership since 1989.


  • During the 2010 season, NFL games represented the 19 most-watched TV programs of any type -- and 28 of the top 30 shows.


  • NBC’s Sunday Night Football (“SNF”) was the number one rated show on all of television for each week of the 2010 season. This is the first time ever that a sports show has been the No. 1 show in television from the start of the television season through the end of the football season.


  • Super Bowl XLIV was watched by more than 106 million people, surpassing the 1983 finale of "M-A-S-H" to become the most-watched program in U.S. television history.


  • In Week One of the 2010 season, ESPN averaged an 8.6 rating and 13.574 million viewers for its two MNF telecasts, the highest-rated and most-viewed season-opening doubleheader since the format started in 2006.


  • Fox’s 4:00 pm telecast of the Packers vs. Eagles game was the most-watched game Week One game in its history.  While NBC’s Week One SNF game featuring the Cowboys at the Redskins was the most-watched opening week primetime game in 14 years.


  • Despite the recession and notwithstanding ticket price increases from 18 NFL teams for the 2010 season, NFL attendance remained strong.


  • In 2010, league attendance was down less than ½% from the 2009 season.


  • Contrary to Commissioner Goodell’s prediction that 20% of all NFL games would be blacked out in local markets in 2009, only 8.6% were, in fact, blacked out, and only 10% were blacked out in 2010.


  • While the average football fan continues to feel the pinch of the ongoing economic downturn, the NFL and its business partners continue to capitalize on the game’s unwavering popularity.


  • DirecTV renewed its agreement with the NFL to serve as its exclusive satellite carrier through the 2014 season for $1 billion annually, payable to the league notwithstanding a lockout in 2011.


  • Fox and CBS renewed their agreements with the NFL beyond the 2011 season providing annual payments exceeding $712 million and $622 million guaranteed even if there is a lockout in 2011.


  • In one of the largest sponsorship deals ever, Anheuser-Busch and the NFL agreed to a six-year $1.2 billion deal to become the official beer sponsor of the NFL beginning in 2011.


  • In February 2010, Verizon Wireless agreed to a four-year, $720 million media rights deal to replace Sprint as the NFL’s exclusive wireless partner.


  • The NFL’s TV advertising market moved so early this year that Fox was in the unprecedented position of heading into the regular season with just a handful of Super Bowl advertising spots remaining to sell. Moreover, Fox is getting around $3 million for a stand-alone 30-second spot.


  • In January 2011, ESPN and the NFL announced plans to enter into a new, record-setting, media rights deal that will be worth nearly $2 billion per year.  ESPN has agreed to pay about 40% more per year to extend its rights to "Monday Night Football.”
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