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The NFL’s ratings have been kicked in the teeth this year, with primetime slots seeing double-digit drops in viewership.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has blamed the falloff on a few external factors, including the election. “Cyclical” was the word Goodell used to describe the ratings dip when speaking on Thursday, at The New York Times’ Dealbook conference.
But it also seems that the NFL might recognize that it needs to change something internally.
Here’s an indication: The league is considering cutting down the amount of commercials in its broadcasts.
“We want to take as much what we call dead time, non-action, out of the game, so that we can make the game more exciting,” Goodell said, according to The Times. How? One of the big ideas to improve that Goodell put forth was decreasing the number of ads and changing up the way they appear.
And Goodell isn’t the only NFL exec talking about trimming ads.
“We don’t blame everything on the election,” Brian Rolapp, NFL Media EVP and head of the NFL Network, said Wednesday, according to Broadcasting & Cable. He understands the world is changing.
Rolapp said the NFL is “looking very hard” at changing the way it does ads.
“In a world where Netflix has no commercials and consumers are used to 15 seconds of of pre-roll, is there a better way to do commercials with our broadcast partners?” Rolapp asked. He pointed out that running 70 per game might be a turn off, Broadcasting & Cable reports.
He definitely has a point, and the slowness of games has been a gripe of NFL fans for years.
Last season, NFL games averaged a whopping 3 hours and eight minutes, according to The Times.