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Inside The Bills

NFL leaning toward fewer commercial breaks

Posted by Chris Brown on February 2, 2017 – 8:49 am

NFL ratings were down this season. Some attributed it to a contentious presidential election season, though there were other factors. The league is taking the dip in ratings seriously and is likely to take steps to make the television broadcast of games more appealing. Step one sounds like they will reduce the number of commercial breaks per quarter.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell addressed the topic at his annual Super Bowl press conference, and gave strong indication that fewer commercial breaks could be a step taken as early as next season.

“What we’re trying to do is to make our product as exciting and our games as exciting and as action-packed as possible,” Goodell said. “So it comes on various different levels for us and we have not dismissed any theories about how we can continue to engage our fans more extensively either on television or in the stadium.  That’s what we do and that’s what we work towards all the time. From a commercial standpoint, we did test in Week 16 and we did test in the Yahoo! game last year, we want to look at should we have the same number of breaks?

“We have five breaks per quarter. We think we can do it in four breaks per quarter. That is something that we’re leaning very heavily into. That’s not a competition committee issue but it’s an issue with our membership and our broadcast partners. We see opportunities to do that and maybe we remove some of the stoppages as well as some of the commercialized aspects of the game. We think less is more in this area and we can do it with the right balance that will improve the quality of the experience in the stadium or also on television.  That’s what we’re focusing on so I expect to see a lot of those changes this offseason.”

Goodell also said the league’s Competition Committee will examine several issues including speeding up the replay review process, possibly with Surface tablets being brought to on field officials for quicker reviews. A play clock from the time the extra point is kicked to an ensuing kickoff is also being considered.

 


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