Wall Street Journal: NFL revenue flattens

Matthew Futterman of the Wall Street Journal writes today on the NFL’s economics, noting that taxpaper money for new NFL stadiums has disappeared while average ticket revenue has flattened and the growth of broadcast revenue has slowed (below, Wall Street Journal chart – click chart for full-size image).

Add the fact that NFL players have doubled their compensation over the past decade and it is clear why as Jeff Pash says, we need a new Collective Bargaining Agreement that “will encourage growth in the game and will allow both parties and the fans to benefit from what we accomplish at the negotiating table.”

Writes Futterman, “Ticket revenues have been essentially flat for the past three seasons and given the economy, owners sense they’ve hit a ceiling (the average ticket costs about $76). With governments at every level facing deficits, the subsidy well is all but dry.”

“Another season of record NFL ratings should boost revenues from the broadcast networks and satellite provider DirecTV, but not as dramatically,” Futterman notes. “Revenues from media rights increased to $3.8 billion for 2010 from $2.6 billion in 2005—a 46% increase. But between now and 2013, the final year of the new broadcast contracts, fees will only increase $350 million, or about 9%.

“Add it all up and the owners are about $1 billion short of the growth in real dollars they were projecting the last time labor negotiations came down to the wire in 2006.”

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