NFL Revenue Reaches $7.1 Billion Based on Green Bay Reportby
The Packers report $222.6 million in national revenue
Accounting change suggests NFL 2015 figure less than reported
National Football League teams shared at least $7.1 billion in revenue from the 2016 season, up about 6 percent over 2015, according to data released Friday by the Green Bay Packers.
Each of the league’s 32 teams received about $222.6 million for the most recent fiscal year. For the Packers, that represents a 6.4 percent increase over its $209.1 million share a year earlier. Each team gets roughly the same cut of national revenue, which includes national sponsorships, broadcast deals, licensing and merchandise sales.
The media, including Bloomberg News, has long used the Packers’ national revenue number to extrapolate the overall revenue for the NFL. This year, an accounting change makes year-over-year comparisons more difficult.
The Packers this year restated their 2015 national revenue to exclude money the team receive from away-game earnings, and they restated their local earnings to include the money they earned at their home field. The result was a smaller 2015 national revenue amount, though one that Packers CEO Mark Murphy said is more in line with the way other NFL teams report their earnings.
As the only publicly owned franchise in major U.S. sports, the Packers’ annual financial statements provide a snapshot into the financial health of the NFL. By restating their 2015 earnings, the Packers also recast last year’s total for the league at $6.7 billion, lower than the $7.3 billion that was widely reported.
For the Packers, which paid about $1.5 million more into shared revenue for visiting teams than they received, the bottom line numbers are negligible. Other teams may not be in the same boat.
Regardless, this year’s report also reflects the spoils from the league’s latest media deals. In the past few years, the league has renewed or renegotiated most of its television broadcast agreements. That includes nine-year extensions with CBS, Fox and NBC that represented a 60 percent increase in rights fees, a new Thursday night agreement split between CBS and NBC worth $450 million, and an eight-year, $12 billion agreement with DirecTV through 2022. The league’s push into digital broadcasting, via Yahoo and Twitter, haven’t had a significant impact on the NFL’s bottom line.
Green Bay Packers Inc. has been a publicly owned nonprofit since 1932. The team issues shares that don’t appreciate in value, pay no dividends and cannot be resold. Its 2012 stock sale raised $64 million.