Streaming Is Way Up For NFL This Season


NFL viewership is up 1% through four weeks compared to last season primarily driven by the growth in streaming.

YoY growth for NFL game streaming:
1) All streaming — ↑ 65%
2) Mobile — ↑ 147%
3) Connected-TV — ↑ 54%

BTW: The top 15 shows on TV in September were all NFL games!


What is different this year? This is the first time that all primetime games and Sunday afternoon local games can be streamed without either a) a Verizon subscription or b) a pay-TV account.

NFL viewership is still dominated by linear TV viewing compared to other programming types.

% of viewers from streaming:
1) Super Bowl (2018) — 2%
2)
NFL regular season (2018) — 2%
3) Game of Thrones — 27%


326K viewers on average have streamed each NFL game this season and the most-streamed game is Vikings-Rams with an average minute audience of 816K (31% of 2018 Super Bowl streaming).

Quote from Kevin LaForce — VP, Media Strategy @ National Football League:
“There are younger people who have grown up with digital devices. They reach for digital first. This helps connect us with them.”

Flashback #1: The NFL’s Very Profitable Existential Crisis

Flashback #2: NFL faces challenging field as new season kicks off, but it’s still TV’s top attraction

More: With NFL ratings on the rise, Donald Trump is denied a favorite punching bag

The NFL’s Very Profitable Existential Crisis

Did you know? The NFL is the largest single entertainment property is the U.S. w/ $14B in revenue and recently set a goal of$25B for annual revenue by 2027!

Bad news: TV ratings were down 17% over the past two seasons.

Average TV viewership per game:
1) 2017–16.1M
2) 2018 (weeks 1–2) — 15.7M


Good news: The Carolina Panthers sold for $2.3B last May and the average team is worth $2.6B!

Top 5 NFL team valuations according to Forbes:
1)
Dallas Cowboys — $5B
2)
New England Patriots — $4B
3)
New York Giants — $3B
4)
Los Angeles Rams — $3B
5)
Washington Redskins — $3B


Total league revenue is up 47% since 2012.

Financial performance of average team:
1)
Revenue — $427M
2)
Profit — $95M

More #1: NFL Is Back, Ad Pricing Remains High

More #2: Despite Declining Ratings and Protest Controversy, the NFL TV Ad Market Is as Strong as Ever

NFL faces challenging field as new season kicks off, but it’s still TV’s top attraction

NFL ratings are expected to decline further, but still dominate TV overall.

Share of top 100 TV shows for NFL:
1) 2007–22%
2)
2017–71%


Annual spend for NFL TV rights:
1)
NBC — $1B
2) CBS — $1B
3) Fox — $1B
4) ESPN — $2B

Yikes! Every pay-TV subscriber in the U.S. pays $21.50/year to watch Monday Night Football as a part of their monthly bill.

Flashback #1: NFL ad revenue is rising amid a ratings decline


Average NFL viewership (% change):
1) 2016: 16.5M
2) 2017: 15.0M (↓ 10%)

Average NFL ad spot cost (% change):
1) 2016: $468K
2) 2017: $474K (↑ 1%)

The bottom line. It cost 12% more to reach 1 viewer in 2017 compared to 2016.

NFL advertising revenue according to Kantar (% growth):
1) 2010 — $2.2B (↑ 14%)
2) 2011 — $2.3B (↑ 5%)
3) 2012 — $2.7B (↑ 14%)
4) 2013 — $2.9B (↑ 8%)
5) 2014 — $3.5B (↑ 20%)
6) 2015 — $3.8B (↑ 10%)
7) 2016 — $4.2B (↑ 11%)
8) 2017 — $4.6B (↑ 10%)

Top NFL advertisers in 2017 according to Kantar:
1) AT&T — $173M
2)
Verizon — $173M
3)
Apple — $162M
4)
Ford — $162M
5)
General Motors — $156M
6)
Berkshire Hathaway — $145M
7)
Anheuser-Busch — $135M
8)
Samsung — $133M
9)
Toyota — $125M
10)
Southwest — $123M

Flashback #3: Why Companies Spend So Much on Super Bowl Ads

NFL advertising during 2017 regular season:
1) Ratings: ↓ 8.0%
2) Cost per ad spot: ↑ 1.2%

Why does this matter? The average CPM $ for an NFL game increased 10% YoY.

Public service announcement. The average CPM $ for Facebook increased 20% over the same period!

More #1: NFL Executives Acknowledge TV Rights Near An “Inflection Point” With Tech Giants Waiting In Wings

More #2: King Football Still Reigns. But for How Long?

More #3: How to watch NFL football live online, no matter where you are in the world

It doesn’t matter if NFL ratings are dropping — advertisers can’t get enough

$4.2b was spent on advertising during NFL games last year despite the lowest ratings of the decade.

Quick Math (2016 vs. 2010):
1) Average viewership: ↓ 7%
2) Ad spend: ↑ 91%

If we assume that the same number of ad spots ran during NFL games in 2010 vs. 2016, then the cost to advertise to one household has increased 105% since 2010.


TV Ratings for NFL Kickoff:
1) 2016 — Panthers/Broncos: 25.2m
2) 2017 — Chiefs/Patriots: 21.8m (↓ 13%)

More on this topic. NFL TV Networks See Generally Higher CPMs

NFL advertising rates by CPM $ (2016 vs. 2015):
1) NBC: $41.29 (↓ 6%)
2) Fox: $39.94 (↑ 9%)
3) CBS: $35.58 (↑ 8%)