Network and business executives were left wringing their hands this week, with new revenue data showing league sponsors and advertisers took a major hit following the NFL’s disastrous 2017 season and less-than-stellar playoff series.
According to official figures published by the Standard Media Index and the Wall Street Journal, in-game advertising revenue dropped a stunning 1.2% to $2.42 billion throughout the NFL’s 2017 season; providing further evidence that lower viewership is beginning to translate to advertising losses.
The data includes total revenue across the league’s television partnerships, including NBC, CBS, Fox, and ESPN.
“For the first time since we have been tracking the market we saw a slight drop of in-game dollars,” said SMI Chief Executive James Fennessy.
The figures are a stunning turnaround from the 2015 season, which saw ad revenue increase by nearly 10%.
NFL officials and team owners are struggling to regain fans after months of player protests during the performance of the national anthem. The ensuing controversy has cost the league upwards of $500 million in lost revenue as angry viewers change the channel.
AMERICA'S GAME? NFL REJECTS Pro-Veteran SUPER BOWL Ad
The National Football League continued to reach new lows on Tuesday; flat-out rejecting a one-page advertisement in the NFL’s official Super Bowl Program that urged all Americans to “Please Stand” during the performance of the national anthem, reports USA Today.
The ad -submitted by pro-veteran’s organization AMVETS- urged all those attending the big game to remain standing as the ‘Star-Spangled Banner’ rings out inside the arena. The material was ultimately rejected by the league for violating the NFL’s commitment to avoiding “political statements” in the program.
“The Super Bowl game program is designed for fans to commemorate and celebrate the game, players, teams and the Super Bowl,” NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy told USA Today.
“It’s never been a place for advertising that could be considered by some as a political statement. The NFL has long supported the military and veterans and will again salute our service members in the Super Bowl with memorable on-field moments that will be televised as part of the game,” he added.
The NFL’s been struggling to come to terms with a disastrous 2017 postseason following months of players “taking a knee” during the performance of the national anthem. President Trump rocketed the issue into the spotlight after he called for a full-fledged boycott of the NFL until league owners demand their athletes remain standing during the ‘Star-Spangled Banner.’
AMERICAN HERO: Disabled Veteran REFUSES AWARD from 'Tainted' NFL Team
“Although I am touched and honored to be selected for such an award, the ongoing controversy with NFL players’ disrespect for the national flag forces me to decline to participate in the presentation,” Wells said.
“I am unable, in good conscience, to enter an NFL stadium while this discourtesy prevails. Since this award is tainted with the dishonorable actions of the NFL and its players, I cannot accept it,” he added.
The NFL has been struggling to regain its footing following weeks of players choosing to “take a knee” during the performance of the US national anthem.
The ensuing controversy gained national attention when President Trump called for a total boycott of the NFL until officials and owners require players to stand during the ‘Star-Spangled Banner.’