TV's Supply-And-Demand NFL Formula: Take A Knee Or Stand

TV programming content is all about supply and demand. TV networks supply the right level of content to meet TV viewers' demands.

When it comes to the NFL -- TV’s biggest programming enterprise -- there are limitations in how this formula works. Some may say there are too many games -- or too few. But on a per-game basis, NFL TV programming isn’t adding or subtracting game content — leaving out TV commercials for the moment.

The national anthem takes the same length of time to play and/or sing, whether or not players are kneeling to protest a policy/public concern. That said, TV directors/producers may be showing a bit more video of this reaction than the flag -- or any other image.

Some polls suggest TV consumers want to see just the game -- and leave politics offscreen.

In the first games of this season, reports suggested that just six players kneeled or made other forms of protests. This was before President Trump insisted players should be suspended or fired for not standing during the national anthem.



After Trump’s remarks? Some 200 or more players decided to take a knee or protest in some way. Some players stood and locked arms; others even took a knee but held their hands on their hearts -- as in the pledge of allegiance to the U.S. flag. Half-credit, here?

For some, all this public outcry -- or not -- comes down to business: TV commercials. They air before and after the national anthem. Were any affected? Not so far.

A Bloomberg News reports says the NFL and its 32 teams made $1.25 billion from corporate partners last year. National TV advertising for the regular-season NFL games totaled around $4.2 billion, according to

So far, virtually all major NFL marketers are mum on the current kneeling situation. One sponsor, Under Armour, tweeted that it “stands for the flag and by our athletes for free speech, expression and a unified America.”

Giving more flexibility to high-spending NFL fans, DirecTV says any customer can cancel the NFL Sunday Ticket, its season-long package of every game -- which costs around $280 per year. We'll wait to see those results.

Many polls say TV viewers just want to see the games. That’s the stuff that happens after the national anthem.

3 comments about "TV's Supply-And-Demand NFL Formula: Take A Knee Or Stand".
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  1. Michael Pursel from Pursel Advertising, September 29, 2017 at 3:35 p.m.

    Seems the millions who live in 5 or 6 major cities have no problem, for the most part, in NFL players kneeling, not showing, hitting spouses/girlfriends, multiple DUI's... while the fly over country has a problem with it.  so let's see, if NFL looses 10 or 15 million fans, so what?  TV Ratings go down. Sale of Merch goes down.  Tickets and consessions are not that big a deal.  And will advertisers want to honk off 15 million customers?  Guess so, because what LA, NY and Chicago sez, goes.  As for me, goodbye NFL.

  2. Ken Kurtz from creative license, September 30, 2017 at 7:14 a.m.

    Too much of a football fan to allow the nonsensical and idiotic expression of some athletes (it's clear they haven't given much thought to, or reflection upon their "kneel-downs") to lead me away from the game that I played in high school and college, and have loved throughout every decade since.

    Let's face it, Black Lives Matter was founded upon lies (Michael Brown of Ferguson never raised his hands in the air, or cried "don't shoot"). Nice sound bite for the left though. He actually committed six crimes the morning he caused his own shooting, and death... the final one was attempting to relieve the police officer that was corraling him for two of those previous crimes (robbery, and assault) committed just minutes earlier, and I don't care whether you're black, white, purple, or rainbow... you are BEGGING to get killed if you try to take a cop's gun, and turn it on him, or her.

    The larger issue here is the unreasonable expectation that some blacks won't be shot by police as law enforcement does their incredibly dangerous jobs on a day to day basis.

    You want to talk equality? Why is it that the left force-feeds us the notion that "conversations need to occur" EXCEPT FOR THE MOST PERTINENT AND IMPORTANT ONE? US Census Bureau confirms that 13% of America's population is black, and US Justice Department confirms that over 80% of all America's violent crime (including over half of all America's murders) IS COMMITTED BY THAT 13% of our population. What is "equal" about that?

    Do not our police have the right to make it home to their loved ones when their shifts are over? In what parallel universe (it can only be a liberal one) can there exist the idea that blacks could ever be policed "equally" to whites when our brave law enforcement officers know that the former are 1200% more likely to take deadly aim at them while they're doing their dangerous, and somewhat thankless (apparently) jobs than the latter.

    This truth is the crux of the matter, but nobody on the left wants to discuss it. In fact, the left will label people that bring up these unequivocal truths as "hateful bigots." Non-starters, clearly, for conducting the conversations that REALLY need to occur.

    Athletes want to kneel down, and protest while our National Anthem is being played, and our flag held up, and honored during pre-game? Start taking flags into African-American communities, and kneel down there in attempts to dissuade blacks from their incredibly violent proclivities. That could potentially result in some good? What's going on now is just ignorant window dressing.

  3. Paula Lynn from Who Else Unlimited replied, October 2, 2017 at 7:47 p.m.

    They need you like another hole in the head.

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