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NFL brings in a record $11 billion in revenue during the 2021 season

Yahoo Finance's Josh Schafer breaks down revenue figures for the NFL and NBA.

Video Transcript


BRIAN CHEUNG: The NFL bringing in the bucks. The League reporting a record $11 billion in revenue for 2021. That's according to data from Sportico. It wasn't just the league as a whole, but individual teams also seeing record income last season. Yahoo Finance's Josh Schafer here to break it down for us. It's a pot that gets divided up, right? How does it-- how does that work?

JOSH SCHAFER: Yeah, exactly, Brian. So what the NFL does here is this big $11 billion number just gets divided by 32. So we're talking $345 million to every team, from a team like the Jacksonville Jaguars that aren't very good every year to teams--

AKIKO FUJITA: That doesn't seem fair.

JOSH SCHAFER: That's an easy one to pick on, right? To teams like the New England Patriots, the Green Bay Packers, the Kansas City Chiefs, those kind of teams that we continuously see in the playoffs. They're also getting that $345 million. And we're going to stick on the Packers here because the Packers have those shares that are publicly traded, and they have that earnings report that comes out, so we can sort of glean a little bit more from that.

And so what this really means is it's about 60% of what teams make. It's at least 60% normally of what the Packers make. So it's actually going to be, there's usually another 40% that comes in. And we'll have that full Packers report probably in the next couple of weeks. But when that comes into effect, you'll see sort of where the NFL is as a whole. And it's up 12% year over year. And it's up and it's growing. And I think that's really kind of the biggest takeaway. 12%, Brian, more than inflation, we should note as well.

AKIKO FUJITA: Yeah, you knew there was going to be an inflation tie right there. How much of this is tied directly to ratings? I mean, what's the big driver here?

JOSH SCHAFER: Yeah, I think the big drivers are normally ticket sales, right? When you look at-- well, I guess ticket sales would be more local. So when we look at this, it's the media rights deals. It's the deals that are now only getting bigger when you talk about Amazon is going to be paying a billion-- or, yeah, a billion dollars for the deals coming up this year for Thursday Night Football. And so that's one of the big drivers. And the other things you point out are League sponsorships. All that crypto money that came in helped out the NFL, right? Will it be there this year? We're not sure, but--

AKIKO FUJITA: I'm not so sure, yeah.

JOSH SCHAFER: Right, but the big sponsorships and we know-- Pepsi getting out of the Super Bowl because that's so expensive now, that's going back to the teams. And so that's where we're seeing those numbers come from.

BRIAN CHEUNG: I want to shift gears now to the NBA because we saw revenue going up year over year over year for the NFL. Is the same story happening with basketball?

JOSH SCHAFER: It is. And for a while, it wasn't happening with the NBA, which I think is the most interesting part, right? So they were sort of hit harder. You can see it there, up 12%, breaching $10 billion for the first time ever per Adam Silver, the NBA commissioner.

And really, the biggest story there is the NBA and the NHL were hit so much harder by COVID. You had indoor games, indoor stadiums. We're showing video behind us now with all those fans that were at the NBA Finals this year. They haven't had full stadiums for a while. So the NBA finally gets back to that. And then we've been talking about free agency a lot on this show. Now the salary cap's up. Employers are getting record contracts because the salary cap went up--

BRIAN CHEUNG: Huge contracts.

JOSH SCHAFER: --about 11%, too.

AKIKO FUJITA: Except Kevin Durant.


AKIKO FUJITA: Not yet, not yet.

JOSH SCHAFER: Someone else will pay him.

BRIAN CHEUNG: You know I can't talk about that.

JOSH SCHAFER: The Nets will. The Nets will pay him, right?

BRIAN CHEUNG: You know-- I-- we--

AKIKO FUJITA: I could tell--

BRIAN CHEUNG: I thought--


BRIAN CHEUNG: --they told you that this was not a subject that we were able to talk about.

AKIKO FUJITA: Josh was itching to get in on it. And I just thought, I'm going to just throw it in there.

BRIAN CHEUNG: Now my weekend's ruined. The weekend hasn't even started yet, and my weekend is ruined.

AKIKO FUJITA: Nothing has changed for the Nets. Nothing has changed for the Nets.

JOSH SCHAFER: It's Friday. It could be a good day for a Friday news dump.

BRIAN CHEUNG: Your team--

JOSH SCHAFER: Friday news dump.

BRIAN CHEUNG: Your team lost in the finals, and your team's going nowhere with Russell Westbrook this year, so.

AKIKO FUJITA: My team didn't make the playoffs, just to be clear.

BRIAN CHEUNG: So, OK, we can all commiserate on that front. There we go.