REPORT: NFL Opening Weekend Saw a Decrease of Approximately 10 Minutes of Ads Per Game

 We did in fact see a notable decrease during week one, anywhere between five and 15 minutes fewer commercials in most games

Touchdown – commercial – extra point – commercial – kickoff – commercial.

Last year, we ran the numbers and on average, each NFL game had around 55-65 minutes of commercials. This wasn’t an increase from previous years, but the perception was that there were far more ads, a problem for the NFL. We reported that the reasons for this perception are likely twofold:

  • Now that people use services like Netflix for entertainment, commercials are less tolerable during normal television broadcasts.
  • There wasn’t much variety, with a few commercials dominating airtime during NFL games.

There had been talk throughout the off-season that the NFL was planning on decreasing the number of ads per game, so we wanted to see if this was actually true during the opening weekend games.

Recording the time that ads ran during each game this last weekend, we did in fact see a notable decrease during week one, anywhere between five and 15 minutes fewer commercials in most games, enough of a decrease for us to believe this was intentional and not just coincidence.

Overall the average fell to just about 50 minutes of advertising slots, with some games having between 45 and 47 minutes of commercials. The Raiders-Titans game saw approximately 44 minutes of ads, the lowest of the weekend, likely due to several long drives eating up large percentages of the game’s clock.

The most commercials of any broadcast was Sunday Night Football’s Giants-Cowboys game, which saw approximately 55 minutes of commercials, still on the lower end of last year’s numbers. The Sunday Night games also tend to fetch the largest advertising budgets, with the week’s best ratings, so it does make sense that NBC would capitalize on this. What we’re curious about is with decreases on other networks, if NBC will follow, or if due to the ratings of SNF remaining strong, they won’t be forced to react.

We will continue monitoring this trend throughout the season, and report again if we see any spikes, and also at the end of the season when we have a full picture of the 2017-18 season. But for now, this trend is promising.

It is worth revisiting the graph from last year’s report, showing a strong perception that advertising during 2016-17 NFL games had increased, which the data showed was not actually true.

POLL: Here are the three commercials NFL fans voted the “most annoying” during opening weekend

You don’t owwwwwn me” took the top spot on the podium last year, voted by fans as by far the most annoying commercial played throughout the NFL season. Congratulations Toyota!

We wanted to get a feel for what fans thought of the opening weekend advertisements thus far. And while it will probably take a few weeks to really let the hate soak in, there are some pretty clear front runners after the opening weekend’s games were played.

We took a a straw poll of 317 NFL fans who said they watched at least two games this weekend, and the three commercials below emerged as standouts when it came to making a quick run to the fridge, or changing the channel, or plugging their ears in protest.

3) Hyundai “Sweet Caroline”

Perhaps it’s the song that’s probably best reserved for only the drunkest of karaoke, maybe the inaccuracies of anyone enjoying driving in traffic, or of course just how many times this commercial aired during the weekend’s games, Hyundai’s ‘Sweet Caroline’ definitely struck a negative chord with respondents.

2) Ford with Dennis Leary Voice-overs

These Ford commercials have been a staple floating around the top of “most annoying commercial” lists for a while, but we have yet to see them take home a gold. Maybe next year they’ll get the crown, and Dennis Leary can talk about it in one of the commercials!

Example given:ALRIGHT, let’s say you’re just hanging around watching football but you’re getting thirsty. LISTEN CHUMP, sit back down and don’t even THINK about going to the kitchen. HERE’S something that will WET. YOUR. WHISTLE. This advertisement series has been voted the most annoying commercial for FIVE YEARS RUNNING. We’re taking home the crown, TA-DA, The hardest working ad team for the hardest working trucks.”

1) Verizon with Thomas Middleditch and Odell Beckham Jr.

Opening NFL weekend at the SportFacts office is an exciting time of year, and 90% of our focus is on actual football. But when we all saw this Verizon ad featuring Thomas Middleditch and Odell Beckham Jr. circulating on Thursday Night Football’s opening game ad nauseam, and then somehow even more during the opening weekend, we all stopped and said, “Yep, that’s going to be the winner” of our most annoying commercial poll. Lo and behold, here we are.

As fans of ‘Silicon Valley’ it’s hard to see one of our favorite comedian actors ranking on the top of this list, but NFL fans have spoken, and thus far in the season, this commercial takes the title. Hopefully Mr. Middleditch is getting paid well for this one. Don’t get us wrong, we’d shamelessly do the same in a heartbeat and probably for way less money, so there’s that.

Now the question is, will a challenger enter the ring in the coming weeks? Toyota, will you be back to defend your crown? Perhaps one of the beer companies can step up. Draft Kings and Fan Duel it’s been a while… Stay tuned…

POLL: Here is what NFL fans think each team’s record in their division will be for the 2017-18 season

Preseason is over, and the final rosters have been set. With that in mind, there have been a whole stream of prediction articles coming out, but we wanted to hear what each team’s fans were thinking. Over the past week, we took a poll of 1,277 NFL fans to get a feel for how everyone thinks the NFL standings will look at the end of the 2017-18 season for their respective divisions. Read more

Here are the top three things every NFL team’s fans are currently worried about the most

The start of the NFL season is days away, and we couldn’t be more excited. But of course we’re also a little nervous. The beginning of the season offers hope, with that shade of doubt over the “what ifs.”

In order to get sentiment on what each team’s fan base is most afraid of for the upcoming season, we spent the last four weeks during the preseason scraping for data surrounding hundreds of fan blogs, tens of thousands of social media posts, various press power rankings, as well as surveying NFL fans. Below you will find our analysis on what each team’s fans are most worried about for the upcoming 2017-18 NFL season as well as whether or not fan expectations for the team are low, medium or high.

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Here are the top 5 things fans complained about during the 2016-17 season

With the 2017-18 NFL season only a few weeks away, we wanted to look back at 2016-17 one more time and review some numbers on what was driving fans crazy last year.

We took a survey of 1,084 NFL fans, and mixed responses with social media trends by using tracking tools for sports-related commentary around the web, looking for trending complaints. It was pretty obvious there were two last year that drew most of the internet’s concern, but some others of course emerged as well.

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The Official 2017 Guide to Watching the NFL Online Without Cable

Five years ago, this almost seemed impossible. If one wanted to watch an NFL game online, they would have to turn to illegal streaming sites, as the option to pay for legal streams online was non-existent.

But here we are, right before the start of the 2017 season, and it’s not only pretty easy to legally stream the NFL online, there are a multitude of options to match almost any need. Below you’ll find our complete guide on how to stream NFL games without cable this season as well as links to other useful resources.

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REPORT: Those Who Play Fantasy Football Watch 4.5 More Hours of NFL Games a Week Than the Average Fan

Fantasy football leads to 2x more regular viewing of NFL games

  • NFL fans who play fantasy football watch 4.5 more hours of football per week on average (8.7 total hours of watching NFL games a week)
  • 16% of NFL fans regularly play fantasy football
  • 78% of people who start playing fantasy football state that their NFL viewership increases

There are a lot NFL fans – TV ratings suggest that over 60% of Americans tune-in on occasion throughout the season to watch games, the largest percentage for any sport in the US. But then there are NFL fanatics, who watch pre-game coverage, flip between RedZone and their favorite team’s game, keeping one eye on their fantasy football app, and then immediately turning to social media to discuss and review highlights throughout the day.

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REPORT: 66% of NFL Fans Support Homosexual Players Coming Out, an 11% Increase in Two Years

NFL fan positive sentiment towards openly gay players increasing:

  • We polled 1,501 NFL fans and found that 65.8% now support openly gay players.
  • This is an 11% increase from our 2015 poll that found 54.5% of fans supported openly gay players
  • 72% of the US population thinks being homosexual is morally acceptable (source), a 7% increase over the same time frame (65% in 2015).
  • Our poll found that younger fans (18-34) are more supportive (80.8% support) than older fans (55+) (51% support). Read more

Exclusive: Netflix to Overtake ESPN in 2018 with the Biggest Budget in Television

ESPN has been the biggest spender in television entertainment for several years now. With an average of $7.3 billion budgeted every year, they continually outspend other networks by a large margin. Buying the rights to things like Monday Night Football and NBA and MLB games, it makes sense that the network has to spend big to maintain rights to this programming. Live sports are expensive, and ESPN is, at least now, the leader in sports broadcasting. But as far as budgets go, Netflix is catching up fast, and will almost certainly surpass ESPN in 2018.

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