NFL: Could Fewer Commercials Improve Ratings?

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Will fewer commercials save the NFL? Anything is possible at this point. Most people take some issue with the glut of commercials in the NFL. You do not need to understand the NFL lines to know that every game has too many of them.

Almost every notable play is sandwiched between commercials. Have you ever noticed that most touchdowns and field goals are almost always followed by commercials? You would think that the Network would try to make up for lost time when they return. But you usually provide one more pointless play before you are bombarded with more Ads.

It is a foolish way to structure games and it is definitely ruining the NFL. If you think that commercials are not nearly as bad as people keep saying, you need to realize that the average game has up to 70 minutes of commercials.

That is 70 minutes during which there is no actual game action going on. In fact, the average game can only afford to give you a little over ten minutes of actual football.

What does that mean? It means you are not watching football. You are watching commercials that are intermittently interrupted by portions of football, which is a little sad.

And of course, the ratings are suffering. This season has recorded some truly unexpected dips in the NFL’s Television Ratings, and commercials are partially to blame. Football games are just not as exciting and enticing as they used to be.

There are simply too many interruptions within any given match to keep viewers interested. The NFL has taken notice of the ratings issue and the fact that commercials might be to blame.

They know that they need to make football games more enjoyable. Brian Rolapp (NFL Media Executive VP) assured everyone that the NFL was working to change or introduce new rules that would make viewing experiences better.

Rolapp’s belief is that viewers would probably return once the pace of play was increased, making football games a more exciting phenomenon. Rolapp doesn’t buy the idea that the election cycle somehow hurt the NFL, cutting into the ratings. Rather, he is certain that the lackluster games were responsible for keeping viewers away, and picking up the pace of play is one solution.

Shorter games with fewer replays might actually be better. The NFL is looking into the issue. Commercials make the NFL as well as the various Networks a lot of money, so it is easy to see why they might resist the idea of cutting back on the number of Ads shown during any given game.

Streaming services like Netflix have shown viewers what it means to watch entertainment that is free of commercials. So, most of them have little patience for the NFL’s seventy minutes of commercials.

Hopefully, the NFL doesn’t try to compress games because that would be a disaster. They need to look to college football games which are longer than the average NFL game yet their pace of play is also much quicker.

College football actually produces 19 more plays in a game than the average NFL match. So it is definitely possible to make the pace of play faster in NFL games. The worst thing they could do is to reduce the number of plays and give fans less football.

The league will have to walk a tightrope to keep fans pleased.

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