With the NFL draft behind us we thought it would be an appropriate time to run a Fan Optimism Score™ survey to determine what teams’ fans are most excited about the upcoming season, and what fans are already on their proverbial fourth drink before the season has even seen its first kickoff.
A million here, a million there.
Professional sports contracts can seem massive, no matter the league, but we wanted to see what sport often ends up paying out the most in their top deals, especially relative to total league revenue. While the NFL has been a dominant force in US sports for the past decade for total league revenue, it was interesting to see how low their top 10 guaranteed contracts are compared to the NBA and MLB.
Among the several issues the NFL has faced in the press over the past few years, none have been as impactful as concussion data.
We wanted to see which NFL teams had the most concussions during games and which teams had the least. Using data from NFL injury reports as well as cross-referencing with third party NFL data providers, we broke down each team’s total reported in-game concussion count below.
“We don’t do commercials here on NFL RedZone” – Scott Hanson, NFL RedZone host
While NFL viewership fell in the 2016 season, NFL RedZone has shown some strong growth, with millions of subscribers actively tuning in every week. What was once supposed to be merely a niche option for hardcore fantasy football fans has quickly turned into a premiere way to consume NFL games with plenty of exciting clips and no commercial breaks.
At the beginning of the year, the media reported on widespread ratings decline for NFL games, citing a variety of reasons including the 2016 presidential election taking up TV time, protests from NFL players making the game seem political, and recent bad press about concussions.
We wanted to see if this ratings decline remained consistent throughout the entire season, so we pulled data on the individual ratings of every nationally broadcast regular season game, including Thursday Night Football, Sunday’s Game of the Week, Sunday Night Football, and Monday Night Football for the last three seasons.
It has been interesting to note the slight decline in NFL ratings this season.
The league has been a ratings powerhouse for the past decade, spiking interest not only domestically, but also internationally as the league hopes to become a dominant global sport. The financial power the league holds is now clear in the size of its broadcast network revenue, with each of the major networks paying out top dollar to get access to NFL game broadcast rights. But it wasn’t always quite so extravagant.
In the 2013 NFL season, referees penalized teams 54 times for unsportsmanlike conduct. In the 2016 season, through week 12, there have already been 54 penalties assessed, this increase is mostly due to touchdown celebrations earlier in the season.
Monday Night Football remains one of the most watched television programs of the week, and of course dominates the Monday night time slot its in.
However, just because this strong positioning remains, doesn’t necessarily mean things are going great for the network its hosted on. Earlier this week, there were reports that Nielsen showed a 600,000 subscriber drop for ESPN, one of the biggest yet.