Fewer NFL Ads? Other TV Content Does It

Maybe the NFL doesn’t believe that big viewing political election content, as well as lackluster on-field competition, are the main reasons why ratings are down.

What about too many TV commercials?

Like other producers of TV content, the NFL is looking into the possibility of cutting back on TV commercials -- as well as an overall shortening games overall to keep the action moving.

NBC’s “Saturday Night Live,” some Viacom networks, Turner’s truTV and TNT are just some TV producers and networks which have trimmed back commercials.

Last season, the average length of regular-season NFL games, was 3 hours 8 minutes, six minutes longer than in 2008. This season, NFL ratings are still down by double-digit percentages.

NFL is looking at one particular area: The slowdown that comes from the increase in play reviews from officials -- and the time it takes to make a decision.

Now it looks at though some fans -- dare I say it -- are getting bored. Roger Goodell, commissioner of the NFL, told The New York Times, all its efforts were about eliminating “dead time” and making the content more “exciting.”



Other ways to blame: The absence, early on, of the big name high profile quarterbacks -- Tom Brady (suspension), Peyton Manning (retirement), and Tony Romo (injury).

Maybe all this is cyclical. Professional sports on TV have been around a long time, many with ups and downs. Major League Baseball, NHL, and the NBA have all been through it -- when it comes to TV viewership.

But here’s the thing. Even with all of this the NFL still generally posts higher overall viewership than non-NFL programming. And its live TV, a premium format for major consumer TV marketers.

In an expanding digital media world, the NFL, as a significant marketing TV tool, still isn’t that bad.

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