Media Economics of the NFL

Part of the Sports Economics, Management and Policy book series (SEMP, volume 2)


Despite the presence of other professional sport leagues including the National Basketball Association (NBA), the National Hockey League (NHL), and Major League Baseball (MLB), the National Football League (NFL) is widely considered the most dominant and financially viable sports property. Even the presence of other rival football leagues has not diminished fan enthusiasm for the NFL signifying fans do not perceive there to be any close substitute. Collectively, the three American terrestrial (over the air) television networks CBS ($3.73 billion), NBC ($3.6 billion), and Fox ($4.27 billion), combined with cable television's ESPN ($8.8 billion), are paying a pooled total of $24.4 billion to broadcast NFL games through the 2011 season for CBS, Fox, and NBC and through 2013 for ESPN. Additionally, the current NFL agreement with DirecTV ($4 billion) through the 2014 season tells the story of the NFL’s economic engine, its television. Incidentally, this figure excludes the added value created by the games televised by the league-owned NFL Network (Bloom 2010). The NFL’s popularity continues to extend into international markets as evidenced by the decision of the network ESPN UK to secure broadcasts rights to televise Monday Night Football live beginning in 2010 despite games starting after 1 a.m. local time (


National Football League Major League Baseball Professional Football National Basketball Association Sport Programming 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Florida State UniversityTallahasseeUSA

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