Twenty-three of the 25 top rated television programs of the last year were NFL telecasts. That’s a staggering figure that shows not only just how much the NFL is the most popular pastime in the country but how it’s the most widespread form of any entertainment — at least via the TV medium. That said, Roger Goodell, the recently extended NFL commish — said that he’s a bit worried that fans (like you) will keep watching on your TV and refuse to come for the live experience.
“Our biggest challenge going forward is how do we get people to come to our stadiums because the experience is so great at home,” he recently told 60 Minutes. “When you turn on (a football game), you want to see a full stadium.”
While the live experience is a great one, Goodell is right to pay attention to bringing fans out. There’s nothing worse than overpaying for parking and concessions and watch millionaire players and billionaire owners continue to make the game more and more inaccessible to fans because ticket prices go sky-high. In other cities, tax dollars erect the very stadium that those tax payers cannot afford to get into.
If Goodell wants to address fan attendance at games, the remedy cannot simply be a blackout. That only alienates the local fan base who could be a paying customer. You don’t scold the fan who can’t afford to come to the game. You incentivize it. Until the NFL figures that out, blackouts will still be a common occurrence and television ratings will continue to dominate.