People and Pop Culture

SBJ Spotlight: TV execs bullish on NFL ratings for upcoming season

TV network execs expect NFL viewership to jump by as much as 10% this season, notes SBJ media writer John Ourand. In this SBJ Spotlight Extra, Ourand says those expectations are driven by the return of fans to stadiums, plus the potential for some of the big-market teams to do well. Ourand: “Last year, they started in empty stadiums, and then they were sort of half filled. That’s not a good TV product. You’re going to get the roar of the crowd. You get the colors. You get the cutaways from the field. It just becomes a better TV product with the full stadiums. And on top of that, NFL executives love the storylines going into the season.” The growth of sports betting is also making network and league execs optimistic about ratings growth. Ourand: “It’s exactly what happened with fantasy football. It’s going to engage more fans to watch games perhaps that they wouldn’t have watched, or certainly to watch games until the end of the game. So they expect all of that to create a pretty robust ratings season.”

See more of Ourand’s predictions for the season on a new football-focused episode of SBJ Spotlight, which drops Thursday on and SBJ.TV.

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