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NFL ad revenue on the rise

Todd Krizelman, MediaRadar CEO & Co-Founder joins the Yahoo Finance Live panel with the lastest on the rise of NFL ad revenue.

Video Transcript

[MUSIC PLAYING]

ZACK GUZMAN: Well, it was an interesting year for sports. Last year in the pandemic, of course, it weighed on a few things, not only the way that all these games flowed, but also the way that advertisers might not have been willing to spend as much on ads during some of these major broadcasts. But a new report from Media Radar is looking into the bounceback, at least for ad revenues for the NFL thus far in the season. And things seem to be going pretty well.

For more on that, I want to bring on Todd Krizelman here, Media Radar CEO and co-founder joins us here on the show. And Todd, I mean, when we look at it, I guess it's not surprising to see maybe things return to normal for the NFL here after the pandemic, but how big of a pop are you guys seeing?

TODD KRIZELMAN: I mean, so far, in the first six games, you're looking at a 17% pop. We're talking about almost a couple hundred million dollars in incremental ad sales for the NFL. So it's been very significant. I think we're seeing certainly the fact that the preseason came back, you know, that's a whole bunch of games that didn't exist during the pandemic, and so that's an extra pop. But big picture, this is going to be a very healthy year for the NFL.

AKIKO FUJITA: Todd, you were telling us in the break that NFL really dwarfs the other leagues in terms of viewership right now. But talk to me about that comparison, and to what extent the return of the eyes on the NFL lifts some of the other leagues.

TODD KRIZELMAN: So there's no question that we're seeing a rising tide is lifting all boats, I think, especially for the largest advertisers. I think about Geico, Progressive, State Farm. These are some of the brands that have really come back in force. They were there through the pandemic, but they've really led the way.

But the NFL is delivering-- our take is they're delivering the audience that advertisers want. Out of the 20 top advertisers last year, 19 came back in the first six games this year. And by the way, the only one who didn't come back was a political-- you know, it was Biden's political campaign. So for sure we see renewal rates that are very strong, which is a very strong endorsement of the NFL overall.

ZACK GUZMAN: Yeah, I mean, I guess that retention still does matter, right? When we were talking about last year, everyone was-- everyone was saying that, you know, it's over, digital media has won, no one's going to go back to linear TV, and sports isn't what it used to be. I mean, it's quick to see how wrong that was. And when you look at it, maybe comparing the same factors in advertisers that were there in 2020 still there in 2021 for the NFL, I mean, what does that look like for maybe the other sports, too, if they fared the same?

TODD KRIZELMAN: So to answer the first part of it, we track all of the connected TV, the OTT market, too. So that's ad spending in Hulu and Peacock and Pluto TV and others. And look, we saw a lot of-- when broadcasts went away briefly at the very beginning of the pandemic, we saw a lot of marketing dollars go to CTV. And a lot of it has stayed, but a lot more has come back. And that's true at the NFL, but it's also true NHL, NBA. We've seen this really across, that the durability of live sports programming is certainly going to work.

So to your point, I think a lot of people thought will it go away, or maybe it'll go away. We have certainly-- it's certainly not going away. If anything, these numbers look better than ever so far for the NFL this season.

AKIKO FUJITA: I mean, that may be the case now, but we've heard from every one of the commissioners from professional leagues talk about offering their own potential streaming packages, because they see that, even though there is strength in cable TV right now, that's not where the future is. How do you think advertisers are looking at that, trying to obviously keep the eyes on the traditional route, but be mindful of bringing in a newer audience and where those eyes are?

TODD KRIZELMAN: Yeah, that's a great point. We see that almost all of these major advertisers who buy on sports programming are testing. They're testing actively. Some are making big bets, for sure. And that's why we see Hulu's valuation and others pop so much over the pandemic. But today, it mostly looks like testing. And even though the audience is there, I would say the sophistication of studying the audience behavior and how television impacts that purchasing behavior after the fact, that's something that the broadcasters still excel at. And that's still an area that's very different from the CTV market. Again, I think you're right. We're seeing a transition or a shift, but it's certainly at the beginning, early days big-picture.

ZACK GUZMAN: Yeah, and it's been exciting to watch, too, the early season action here. We'll see if it keeps up. Todd Krizelman, Media Radar CEO and co-founder, appreciate you coming on here to chat with us today. Be well.