2011 NFL LOCKOUT - Strategic Marketing


Technically, the court’s decision this week ended the NFL lockout. While the NFL licks its wounds and drags its feet, deciding how to proceed, there are unfathomable sums of money on the table, and most agree that the show must go on. The National Football League produces the most revenue of any sports league in the world. Just thinking about the possibility of no football season this year has had a lot of people quite worried. I am not talking about fans worried about how to fill their Sunday afternoons. I’m referring to the reverberations that would be felt through the entire economy.

The television advertising industry is one that will be especially hard hit. These are estimates of advertising revenue at stake for the big football broadcast networks:

  • Fox – $975 million
  • NBC – $850 million
  • CBS – $825 million
  • ESPN – $175 million

If this stream of revenue runs dry, it leaves a Sunday vacuum that nothing else can quite fill. The NFL remains an anomaly in a media landscape that is increasingly fragmented because their ratings continue to go up. No other type of programming can capture as many viewers on Sunday.

President Obama chimed in and was quoted as saying, “I’m a big football fan, but I also think that for an industry that’s making $9 billion a year in revenue, they can figure out how to divide it up in a sensible way.”

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