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17 Regular Season Games?

May 11, 2007

ESPN is reporting that the NFL is working on early plans that might end up expanding the current number of regular season games to seventeen. Behind these early discussions is an international reason. The NFL whats to gain international sales and exposure. The league stands to gain substantial revenue from worldwide cable/TV deals if games were played overseas throughout the year. If they can raise worldwide interest, they can cash in.

The problem is that the NFL is having a hard time ‘selling’ an overseas game to team owners. The leading issues are that right now each team has eight away games and eight home games. Since every game (minus a few of the Saints after Katrina) are at some one’s home stadium — no one is beating down the doors to give up one of their eight home games. Secondly, but related to that, is that season ticket holders lose out of there are only seven games played at home, and that hurts business.

So, the solution they are currently considering is radical. They could simply ADD a game to the regular season. Each team would then get eight home games, eight away games and one international game. This would work very well for the overseas partner as they would likely get a four game season deal with 8 different teams coming over throughout the year. With two countries getting into the action, the NFL stands to seriously increase their worldwide value and branding.

The question of a longer season seems to be something that might impact the preseason as one plan includes reducing the preseason to three games (thus not actually adding a game to the year — just moving a preseason game to the regular season).

My opinion on this: Great! The more people around the country that love this sport, the better!

Home fans aren’t losing anything and fans from around the world will have a better chance of seeing the greatest game on earth!

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One comment

  1. […] I understand that the league has to make a decision based on the bottom line.  And, in this case, the bottom line is well into the red (NFLE lost a reported $32 Million this year).  I also understand that the league has been working on regular season games for overseas countries including a proposal for increasing the season to 17 games. […]



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