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The NFL's revenue increase in 2017 should quiet some of its critics

The NFL is doing just fine. To believe otherwise is to make up a story in your head, or perhaps blindly listen to a certain critic who likes ripping the league.

For all the disingenuous talk about the NFL’s television ratings, money always talks. And the money is still flowing into the NFL, more than ever.

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The NFL tries to keep its financials a secret, but the Green Bay Packers are a public team and have to divulge certain information. According to the Green Bay Press-Gazette, the Packers reported record revenue for 2017. Included in that windfall was $255.9 million in national revenue, a share that every team gets. Simple math says that’s more than $8 billion in revenue distributed to the 32 NFL teams.

If the NFL is dying, just about every business in America would love to be dying at the same rate.

How much did revenue increase in the NFL?

While there’s a misguided hysteria over television ratings, the bottom line for the NFL is improving.

ESPN’s Darren Rovell said the national revenue the Packers reported is a 4.9 percent increase over last season. It’s hard to make billions and still increase revenue, especially when so much of the revenue is based on television money. Across the board, television ratings have decreased with cord-cutting and a shift in how people consume media. The NFL felt the effect too, although at a slower rate than some other shows and networks.

The money kept rolling in. Rovell credited it to an escalator in the NFL’s television deals and a bump in the “Thursday Night Football” package. 

The Packers continue their unlikely success story

The Packers are coming off a disappointing season. Star quarterback Aaron Rodgers missed nine games with a broken collarbone, and the Packers missed the playoffs. Yet the overall revenue for the fiscal year, which ended on March 31, was $454.9 million according to the Press-Gazette. That’s a $13.5 million bump from last season. The Press-Gazette said the Packers, who have by far the smallest market in major American pro sports, rank eighth or ninth among NFL teams in total revenue.

If interest is waning for NFL football in Green Bay, it’s not showing. Packers president Mark Murphy told Rovell more than 99 percent of season-ticket holders renewed for the 2018 season and the waiting list is 135,000.

The NFL has challenges, but is still doing well

The NFL will do what it can to avoid any slippage in revenue. A summer of NFL news that had little to do with football might create some more fatigue among fans. Ratings might continue to go down, because ratings everywhere are going down. But the NFL is still moves television ratings in America like nothing else can, and that should continue for a while even though critics will cherry-pick certain numbers and predict the NFL’s demise.

The NFL is still healthy. Just remember, when you hear certain people bloviating about the league and its problems this fall, that the NFL just cut $8 billion in revenue checks to its teams.

Green Bay Packers’ Aaron Jones celebrates a touchdown run with Packers fans last season. (AP)

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Frank Schwab is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at shutdown.corner@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter.

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