NFL Generated Record Revenue in ’17, Claims of League Demise Premature


NFL teams split a league record $8.1 billion ($255.9 million/per) in national revenues (includes: TV deals, road-game rev-sharing etc.), representing a 4.9% YoY increase in 2017. The escalating value of television rights (+5% YoY) and the increased availability of Thursday Night Football (think: Amazon) drove the growth. The Green Bay Packers, the only publicly traded team, reported record revenue ($454.9 million) last season; an 8% YoY increase, that includes $34.1 million in operating profits. It’s been estimated that the league generated more than $14 billion in ’17 revenue, the most of any league worldwide.

Howie Long-Short: It’s time we put to rest the notion that the NFL is declining in popularity. Player protests. Brain injuries. Criminal Accusations (think: LeSean McCoy). None of it has had any impact on revenue generation (according to Packers President Mark Murphy). While we’re at it, let’s end the talk that the NBA is closing the gap on the NFL; it’s not. For all the overseas interest we hear about, NBA teams split just $7.4 billion in TOTAL revenue last year.

The Packers are publicly traded but stockholders hold no equity interest, shares do not pay dividends and they cannot be sold; except for back to the team at a discounted price. Great deal (rolling eyes). For those wondering, the balance of the team’s revenue ($199 million, +.8% YoY) came from sponsorships, game-day revenue, local broadcast fees, sales at the team’s pro shop and tickets to their Hall of Fame exhibit.

Fan Marino: One argument I will buy regarding the NFL is that the controversies, particularly as it relates to CTE, have negatively impacted the value of franchises. Even with newly signed TNF and streaming deals, Trump related tax breaks and legalized gambling on the horizon, the Carolina Panthers sold for 5.9x ’16 revenue; just a slight increase over in 5.6x multiple Buffalo sold for in ‘14. By comparison, the Rockets sold for 7.4x in ‘17. I continue to maintain David Tepper got a great deal.

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