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Exploring the Business Side of the NFL



The National Football League (NFL) is the most valuable sporting competition in the world as it is commonly valued at a region of around $170 billion with the league only continuing to draw in a greater amount of revenue each year thanks to its many exploits, sponsorships and continuous fan investment that is found all around the world.

There are 32 prestigious franchises that operate out of the NFL which continuously attract in tens of thousands of fans in attendance ahead of gameday as well as numerous audiences that watch at home from across the nation and the entire world, which ultimately places viewership numbers well into the millions for any average NFL encounter.

Primetime games that are aired during the evening hours of Thursday’s, Sunday’s and Monday’s also draw in a much wider audience sum of fans ahead of kick off with these viewership numbers being ranked amongst the best out of any professional sporting league on the planet. 

The league has remained a focal point of the sporting industry in the decades following the merger of the rivalling NFL and AFL footballing leagues which also led to the establishment of the renowned Superbowl game which is a spectacle in its own right when drawing in viewing numbers from an even greater spread of audiences. The Superbowl is discussed right from the beginning of the season and the Super Bowl odds are changing week to week as the experts struggle to separate the teams, but it’s currently the SF 49ers who are the choice of the sportsbooks. 

Overall, the NFL has garnered a widespread amount of value and approval from fans as well as investors for a variety of reasons which has allowed the league to become one of the most highly profitable and frequently broadcasted sporting professions in the industry today, with numerous other factors contributing towards this sustainable period of success.

  • Presence in the media:

The NFL is predominantly featured in an array of media outlets and outings which can include advertising and commercial campaigns, to ever expansive broadcasting partnerships that have elevated the NFL to an even greater platform and to a much wider audience.

As of 2023, NFL games are always broadcasted to US audiences on ESPN/ABC, FOX, CBS, NBC and more recently Amazon Prime as the league recently finalized a new major $113 billion deal through to the 2033 season that was completed back in March of 2021.

This deal ensures that the league will completely double its revenue that is generated through the media broadcasting of the NFL to an estimated amount of over $10 billion a year, with this latest signing ensuring that the league will experience an 80% increase from the initial $5.9 billion that was previously being generated in the prior contract agreement.

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Alongside this mammoth broadcasting deal that has since been incorporated into the coverage of NFL contests ahead of the 2023 season, every NFL game coverage also takes full advantage of the numerous intervals and pauses that are present in a regular football game by cutting to commercials.

The average amount of advertisements that run throughout a regular NFL game can escalate to a time period of around one hour and three minutes which can take up about 33% of the actual broadcast of the game, with the other 67% being dedicated to the actual game itself, replays and other amenities, meaning that advertising is an integral part of NFL income during gameday.

This of course is only applicable towards a normal regular season game, as primetime encounters, playoff games and obviously the big Superbowl game itself can feature even more ads at a much higher cost and at a much more frequent basis for viewers to watch.

  • Gameday earnings and Merchandising:

NFL fans who are raring to attend games in person can often spend a hefty sum of cash when heading out to watch their favorite team as the average price of an NFL ticket is roughly around $112 at least according to figures recorded in 2022 and is fully dependent on the team in question.

This is also without considering the amount spent on concessions or other aspects while on site, with merchandizing being another valuable source of NFL income.

A survey from January 2023 indicated that 42% of a sample had spent in the region of $101 – $250 in the 12 months before this was calculated, with some instances even recording over $1,000 spent on merch during this period.

These are just a small fraction of the amount that the league likely generates in terms of merchandising during a specified period, with international audiences also contributing greatly towards the distribution of NFL merch, broadcasting as well as ticket sales for games in the States or games that are being played internationally.

There are various other catalysts that greatly contribute to the NFL’s worth as a brand and growth as a sporting product on an annual basis, with the league only continuing to expand to a wider range of audiences every year in an effort to further increase its viability within the sporting industry and retain its status as the most valuable sports competition in the world today.

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