The NFL is back, bigger than ever, and seriously, wow, it’s huge

It’s the same old story every time this year: football is back and the NFL is making money hand over fist.

Football fans, it’s that magical time.

average value of an NFL franchise

Sure, a new season kicked off last night in Kansas City, but the real magic we’re talking about here is the chance to step back and marvel at the seemingly unstoppable business force that is the National Football League.

Let us bask

The league’s financial picture is, quite plainly, remarkable, per Forbes:

  • With the recent $6.05B sale of the Washington Commanders, the average NFL team value has risen to $5.1B.
  • The $163B aggregate value of the league’s 32 teams nearly tops the combined value of every NBA and MLB team.
  • The league’s most valuable team, the Dallas Cowboys, was worth a not-so-shabby $3.2B in 2014 — now that’s up to $9B.
  • Last season, average team revenue hit $581m, up 8% YoY. Only two teams — Detroit and Cincinnati — came in under $500m, and both just by a smidge.

Oh, and let’s not forget that the league is the singular dominant force remaining in live television. On the strength of its ratings — the NFL commanded 82 of 2022’s 100 most-watched TV programs — the league will earn a minimum of $125.5B from its broadcast deals over the next decade.

Where do we go from here?

The league isn’t infallible (just search “NFL + concussions” for a reminder), but business-wise, it continues to set the standard for American sports leagues— and somehow has some untapped revenue streams remaining:

  • The NFL’s relationship with gambling is still developing, but the market keeps on growing — a survey found a record 73.5m American adults plan to bet on an NFL game this year.
  • The league is considering an expansion of its NFL+ streaming platform.

Don’t put it past them: Take it from an Arizona Cardinals fan, the game produces an excess of tears — perhaps a dalliance with the $10B+ facial tissue market is in order?

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