While the National Football League battles its players over taking a knee during the National Anthem, its commissioner, Roger Goodell, is talking contracts, his own specifically.Godell’s contract runs out in 2019, but negotiations are ongoing. He doesn’t come cheap since Goodell has been compensated with $205 million between 2008 and 2015.
So what do the owners get for that cash?
This season, the NFL will bring in about $14 billion in revenue, according to SportsBusiness Journal, or $900 million more than last year.
Goodell has more than double revenues since taking over in 2006, when the league pulled in roughly $6.6 billion. He has projections for league revenue of $25 billion by 2027.
That number, I feel is a stretch, since I have written that the league is on a slippery slope. With ratings declining and perhaps a over saturation of games, Goodell may be facing the beginning of the decline of pro football.
Concussions alone have changed the game forever. Youth players are going out for other fall sports such as lacrosse and rugby. And while there should be ample supply of players for colleges in the short term, this trend could crimp the product well before 2027.
No Goodell, if given a new 5-year contract, will be overseeing the slow — but steady — decline of the sport. Look at the ratings, the league is behind last year’s numbers, which were lower than the year before. Goodell says that was because of the presidential election. Well what about this year?
I say the league is losing its real fan base — Middle America — over its handling of the Colin Kaperneck protest and its continuation into this season as it morphed into a President Trump protest. And the scandals over players conduct off the field with domestic violence charges and how the league handles it.
I can almost guarantee that Tuesday night during the opening game of the World Series, with each team lining the base paths — after introductions — for the National Anthem all the players will be at attention. And it will be broadcast, not like the NFL.
No, Roger, I believe you have hit the high-water mark on revenues for the league. TV networks — including cable — do not have the unlimited cash from subscribers and advertising to keep writing you a bigger and bigger checks each contract. And the next TV contract will be smaller.
Snapchat, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram will not pay the league the money it needs to make up for the shortfall in TV revenue.
Perhap Roger, instead of re-upping your contract, you should hang up the cleats and take a knee yourself. Unless you want to manage the demise of the NFL.