NFL TV ratings remain high for the first three weeks of the season, driving the wedge between the world’s richest sports league and its competition. Expect more of the same in week 4 with a pair of TV darlings on the slate: Steelers and Packers, clashing in the afternoon, followed by one of the most popular clashes. most anticipated of the season, as Tom Brady returns to Foxboro on Sunday night.
Television is the financial engine that drives the NFL forward, and the media’s revenue is expected to exceed $ 10 billion this season thanks to domestic, local and international cash taps combined. But the league has a decent sideline of its stadium business which largely vanished last season with no fans in the building, costing the 32 teams combined around $ 4 billion. Fans are back with a bang, and four-week ticket, sequels, concessions and parking revenue will hit $ 1 billion after this weekend’s games.
Teams were able to capture most of their sponsorship revenue last season, but total NFL attendance fell 93% to 1.2 million due to local COVID-19 restrictions. Fourteen teams had no fans in games, including at highly anticipated new venues in Los Angeles and Las Vegas, while six other teams hosted fewer than 25,000 fans throughout the season. Dallas, Jacksonville, Kansas City and Tampa Bay were the only teams with more than 100,000 fans in 2020.
Four NFL teams – the Saints, Seahawks, Raiders, and Bills – have fan vaccination mandates in their stadiums in 2021, but each team is open to capacity so far; the Colts were the last team to gain local approval in June. As a result, home attendance is expected to hit 4.3 million for the first four weeks of the season, or 22 times the 197,000 in the comparable period last season; season-long attendance peaked at 17.8 million in 2016 and was 17.3 million two years ago.
Fans clearly missed seeing the action in person. At 92%, membership renewal rates this year are at a five-year high, and resurgent teams like the Browns have topped 99%.
Each NFL team is expected to receive $ 335 million this league season from their equally shared media and licensing revenues. The huge windfall before a single ticket is sold is why every NFL team is worth at least $ 2.4 billion – Cincinnati is ranked No.32 – and the average team value is $ 3.5 billion, including team-related businesses and owner-owned real estate. Total NFL revenues are expected to exceed $ 17 billion for the year.
The main differentiator of NFL team values is the stadium, as local TV offerings are only a fraction of what elite NBA and MLB franchises get from their regional sports network deals. Most NFL teams generate less than $ 200 million in their local markets, but four teams, in SporticoThe Cowboys, Patriots, Rams and Giants tally will earn over $ 300 million from their stadiums in 2021, including sponsorships and non-NFL events and assuming a full 17-game season with fans. This quartet also represents the four most valuable franchises in the NFL, led by Dallas at $ 6.92 billion.