NEW YORK — After this season’s ratings drop, the NFL is looking to fix the problem.
It recently met with CBS — one of the networks that airs games — to figure out a way to make them shorter.
During an earnings call on Wednesday, CBS CEO Les Moonves said the two sides had met to see if advertising could be done differently.
“We’re all looking at how the product can be more efficient, possibly speeding up the games,” Moonves said. “So we’re looking at some reformat ideas. Obviously, we’re not planning on cutting advertising.”
The NFL and its partner TV networks generate a great deal of revenue from ad sales during the regular season and the Super Bowl. This season, Super Bowl LI ads cost about $5 million.
On the call, Moonves said he still thinks the NFL is “the premier property in all of media.”
Changing the length or format of ads is one of the things NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell proposed in early November — when viewership was down 12% from the previous year — as a way to boost ratings. He also said maybe instant replays could be faster.
Competition with the presidential campaign between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton was part of the reason ratings were down this season, but poor match ups and the number of weekly games also had an effect.
Ratings rebounded a bit in the postseason as competition got better, and Super Bowl LI ended up being the fifth most-watched TV broadcast in history. That was largely due to the Patriots’ miraculous winning comeback.