MULTIPLE CITIES: A 15-year spate of stadium building has left NFL teams holding about $9 billion in debt that’s putting pressure on the league now that ticket sales have dropped. Bloomberg’s Aaron Kuriloff details how the debt service is burgeoning for NFL teams just as revenue growth is slowing. The situation is spilling over into labor dispute between players and owners, who are looking for concessions to save money.
Kuriloff also notes that ticket sales are down this year, that the owner of the Dallas Cowboys has yet to find a company to buy the rights to name the team’s new stadium, and that the New York Giants had 400 unsold tickets for its new elite Coaches Club. Those go for a one-time $20,000 fee plus $700 per game.
As of mid-September, as many as 12 teams had unsold seats, portending TV blackouts for those markets--meaning lost revenue for local stations. The league has already said it plans to stream blacked-out games on its Web site, NFL.com, for 72 hours after midnight on the eve of game play.
“Cowboys Under 60-Yard-Long HDTV Signaling Player-Pay Showdown,” by Aaron Kuriloff, is available at Bloomberg
(Image by Robert Forrer)
More on the NFL:
September 28, 2009: “DirecTV’s NFL Sunday Ticket HD Premium Questioned”
DirecTV charges $10 a month extra for HD on a regular subscription package. The same format costs $99 on the satellite provider’s popular NFL Sunday Ticket, the special package of out-of-market, regular season pro football games produced by CBS and Fox.
September 21, 2009: “NFL Costs More Than Related Revenues”
Professional football.... brings in billions in advertising revenues, but the steep cost of the rights appear to exceed the return on investment.
September 14, 2009: “NFL Will Post Black-out Games Online” Unless they’re sold out 72 hours before kick-off, games carried on TV are typically blacked out in those markets where the they’re played.
September 9, 2009: “NFL Feels the Pinch”
Marci Ryvicker of Wells Fargo notes that at least 10 teams are not sold out yet... ...potentially triggering television blackouts in their local markets--clearly a negative for local television affiliates.”
August 26, 2009: “More 3D Football on TV”
ESPN is now on deck to transmit a 3D version of next month’s football game between the University of Southern California and Ohio State. The 3D telecast will employ dedicated trucks, crew and commentators, separate from the regular 2D program.
May 18, 2009: “NFL Nears Deal with Fox and CBS”
The National Football League is close to closing a deal with Fox and CBS on future carriage of Sunday afternoon games. The deal would give the networks a two-year extension with a 3 to 5 percent rights revenue bump on a contract up next year.
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