ATLANTA — After the N.F.L.’s best season in years, Roger Goodell, the league’s commissioner, got his chance to crow on Wednesday afternoon ahead of its showcase event.
“This season has demonstrated that there has never been a better time to be a part of the N.F.L.,” Goodell said. “Our game is getting better and better, and our engagement and popularity is unmatched in today’s media landscape.”
Under Goodell, the N.F.L. has tried to be everywhere all the time. The combine, the draft and the minicamps have become manufactured events unto themselves; there are now games on Thursday nights and some, played in London, early on Sunday mornings; and most games have remained on network television even as other sports have largely moved their games to cable and now streaming.
A year ago, the strategy was under stress. Then the emergence of a new crop of young stars and a largely controversy-free season combined to drive up television ratings and produce a spectacular weekend of conference championships, capping a winning streak that began with a surprisingly fervent auction for rights to the league’s least popular slate of games.
Coming off the 2017 season, after television ratings had dropped 17 percent over the previous two years, the league entered the media market trying to sell the rights to “Thursday Night Football.” CBS and NBC had both said they lost money showing Thursday games, and they weren’t willing to pay much more than the 0 million combined they were paying each year.
Then, as in 1993, when an audacious bid for N.F.L. rights ignited a scramble that sent their value soaring, Rupert Murdoch came to the rescue. Fox agreed to pay 0 million annually to show “Thursday Night Football.”
Murdoch’s market-resetting bid came shortly after he agreed to sell the vast majority of his empire to Disney, leaving him with a significant need for marquee programming on his network. Also, there was real competition from a tech company.
Brian Rolapp, the N.F.L.’s chief media and business officer, said in an interview in September that Fox did not submit the highest bid. A tech company did, he said, though he would not reveal which one.
“We turned down higher bids,” he said. “When you put a game exclusively on digital, are you growing the distribution and availability, or are you limiting it, and to the extent how much? And for us, we weren’t sure we wanted to do that yet.”
In other words, the N.F.L. stuck to its foundational game plan to be everywhere and accessible. After two seasons of turmoil, the league opted not to break away from its longstanding strategy, but instead doubled down on it.
Plenty of dangers still lurk. Football’s concussion crisis threatens the viability of youth football. Colin Kaepernick’s collusion case against the league drags on, suggesting he has a chance to win, and attendance was down to its lowest level in eight seasons. Instead of Patriots quarterback Tom Brady or Rams Coach Sean McVay, the biggest topic ahead of the Super Bowl remains atrocious officiating. The league’s collective bargaining agreement with its players expires in two years, and negotiations will be tough.
But Rolapp’s big bet paid off. Every time slot for N.F.L. games, including Thursday night’s, earned higher television ratings this season, a total gain of 5 percent.
Incidents of violence against women continued to plague the league. The Kansas City Chiefs cut the Pro Bowl running back Kareem Hunt during the season after video showed him shoving and kicking a woman. The New York Times later reported that the N.F.L. failed to question Hunt about the incident during an interview earlier in the year.
The San Francisco 49ers cut Reuben Foster after his second arrest on domestic violence charges in 2018, and three days later he was claimed by Washington, a move that garnered substantial criticism. TMZ also published video of Washington safety Montae Nicholson punching out a man.
But Goodell and the N.F.L. limited their unforced errors. There was nothing like the drawn-out legal battle over deflated footballs in 2015 and 2016. And once the N.F.L. realized the opposition it would face if it pushed ahead with a rule mandating players on the field to stand during the national anthem, the league backed off.
Young players like Patrick Mahomes, Baker Mayfield, Mitchell Trubisky and Saquon Barkley became stars in 2018, pointing the way to a post-Brady world. High-profile quarterbacks like Russell Wilson and Andrew Luck returned to form. High-octane passing offenses took over the league.
It all came together in the conference championship games, which featured the four highest seeds and the four highest-scoring teams. Two veteran quarterbacks, Drew Brees and Brady, took on the best young quarterbacks, Jared Goff and Mahomes, in high-scoring shootouts that went to overtime.
David Berson, the president of CBS Sports, which will televise the Super Bowl on Sunday, said fewer off-the-field stories were getting attention “because the on-field product is so compelling.” Whether Berson is correct or whether the league simply had a year with fewer controversies ultimately does not matter all that much to the league’s media partners because, as Berson put it, “The focus is on the football, and the football is really exciting.”
There were blown calls and rules controversies, of course. The N.F.C. championship game hinged on an egregious no-call, and Brady and the Patriots also benefited from a questionable ruling and a rule that did not allow Mahomes — probably the league’s most valuable player — to get his hands on the football in overtime. But the arguments garnered more attention for the game, which was just what the league wanted.
The question now is whether this fundamentally violent sport can be made safer. Before the season, the N.F.L. introduced a rule barring players from using their helmets as weapons when tackling. Six weeks into the season, its enforcement was essentially abandoned, underscoring how difficult it is to legislate between acceptable and unacceptable levels of violence.
According to league statistics, concussions were down 29 percent in 2018, to 0.5 per game from 0.7. Jeff Miller, the N.F.L.’s executive vice president for health and safety, cautioned on a recent conference call that “there is no finishing line” when it comes to player safety, but touted the work being done to get players to wear better helmets and to present teams with targeted interventions to prevent concussions.
The league’s own concussion data show that the number of concussions each year fluctuates, and that previous reductions were reversed in following seasons. The N.F.L. has also not been able to reduce the instances of A.C.L. and M.C.L. tears, ligament injuries that commonly end players’ seasons.
The youth tackle football participation rate has been dropping for a decade, and now the high school tackle football participation rate is declining, too. Just one insurance company is willing to cover professional football leagues for head trauma, according to ESPN, and youth football leagues and school districts are facing insurance premiums that they are struggling to afford.
In the off-season, the N.F.L. is likely to receive a ruling in the Kaepernick collusion case. His grievance, which was filed 15 months ago, still hasn’t been heard. It remains difficult for collusion to be proven, but if Kaepernick wins, he could be awarded tens of millions of dollars, and evidence uncovered in discovery and depositions could become public.
Attendance in 2018 fell to its lowest level since 2011. This drop will be rectified in part in 2020 when the Los Angeles Chargers move from a 27,000-capacity soccer stadium to a 70,000-capacity football stadium, but Washington, Tampa Bay and Cincinnati all suffered big drops.
The N.F.L. operates on two planes: the day-to-day of small crises and opportunities, and the issues that could take a bite out of the billion-a-year league. Most things fall into the first bucket, with no chance of harming a league whose revenue inches upward each season because of television contracts signed earlier in this decade.
Over the next decade, the N.F.L.’s ability to handle the changing media and technology environment and the mounting health and safety challenges is likely to determine whether it reaches its goal of billion a year in revenue by 2027 and remains at the pinnacle of American sports.
Arthur Blank, the owner of the Atlanta Falcons, is confident the league will continue to prosper. He believes the N.F.L. will receive even more money when contracts to telecast Sunday and Monday games expire after the 2021 and 2022 seasons because of “the number of ways the product is distributed these days,” he said.
But the root of Blank’s confidence is the league’s longstanding strategy. “The core of it is still going to be over-the-air free television,” he said. “That’s not going to change.”B:
三肖带猴赔多少钱【任】【红】【菱】【一】【低】【头】，【顿】【时】【霞】【飞】【双】【颊】，【这】【特】【么】【谁】【喝】【完】【了】【瓶】【子】【不】【拿】【走】【啊】！ 【呃】，【好】【像】【是】【我】，【可】【是】【我】【为】【什】【么】【会】【忘】【了】【啊】【魂】【淡】！ 【老】【娘】【的】【一】【世】【英】【名】【啊】【啊】【啊】【啊】…… 【然】【而】【任】【红】【菱】【出】【身】【名】【门】，【又】【久】【经】【商】【海】【浮】【沉】，【连】【通】【黑】【白】【两】【道】，【随】【机】【应】【变】【黑】【寡】【妇】【岂】【是】【浪】【得】【虚】【名】？ 【任】【红】【菱】【连】【忙】【竖】【起】【财】【务】【报】【表】【做】【掩】【护】，【小】【手】【握】【成】【了】【拳】【头】【捂】【着】【嘴】【干】【咳】【一】【声】
“【林】【御】，【这】【次】【你】【可】【出】【尽】【风】【头】【啦】！【也】【许】【从】【明】【天】【开】【始】，【咱】【们】【都】【成】【名】【人】【了】【也】【说】【不】【准】！” 【弗】【兰】【特】【一】【边】【说】【着】，【一】【边】【挥】【剑】【斩】【下】【一】【头】【失】【去】【了】【抵】【抗】【能】【力】，【但】【尚】【未】【死】【去】【的】【三】【臂】【水】【鬼】【的】【头】【颅】。 【这】【玩】【意】【就】【是】【他】【们】【以】【前】【遇】【见】【过】【的】【八】【臂】【水】【鬼】【进】【阶】【版】，【在】【晋】【升】【为】【史】【诗】【之】【后】，【八】【臂】【退】【化】，【仅】【仅】【留】【下】【了】【最】【基】【本】【的】【左】【右】【双】【臂】。 【乍】【一】【看】【这】【玩】【意】【和】【最】【弱】
How 【民】【众】【会】【遭】【到】【威】【胁】，【产】【生】【恐】【慌】。【实】【力】【原】【本】【强】【大】【的】【他】【们】，【会】【变】【得】【渺】【小】，【不】【堪】【一】【击】！ “【别】【害】【怕】，【他】【们】【出】【现】【固】【然】【会】【打】【破】【平】【衡】，【但】【同】【时】，【也】【会】【是】【你】【们】【的】【机】【缘】。”【刘】【皓】【琨】【没】【有】【说】【的】【太】【清】【楚】，【修】【真】【一】【途】，【需】【要】【去】【悟】。【说】【透】【了】，【也】【就】【没】【意】【思】！ “【再】【说】，【咱】【们】【是】【人】【类】。【人】【类】【发】【展】【到】【现】【在】，【是】【靠】【的】【个】【人】【武】【力】【值】【吗】？”【见】【玛】【格】【丽】
【到】【了】【家】【中】，【舒】【曼】【外】【婆】【他】【们】【都】【看】【花】【了】【眼】，【他】【们】【上】【次】【过】【来】【都】【是】【五】【六】【年】【前】【的】【事】【了】，【那】【时】【候】【舒】【曼】【家】【还】【不】【在】【这】【里】【住】【呢】。 【虽】【然】【从】【照】【片】【上】【视】【频】【里】【见】【过】【新】【家】【的】【样】【子】，【可】【真】【到】【了】【这】【里】【才】【发】【现】【这】【里】【到】【底】【有】【多】【大】。 【舒】【妈】【早】【跟】【舒】【曼】【联】【系】【过】，【提】【前】【守】【在】【屋】【门】【口】【等】【着】【呢】，【她】【今】【天】【是】【想】【出】【去】【接】【二】【老】【的】，【结】【果】【一】【出】【门】【就】【头】【疼】【欲】【裂】，【坐】【车】【上】【就】【恶】【心】【耳】【鸣】三肖带猴赔多少钱“【给】【我】【搜】，”【牧】【野】【结】【美】【扯】【着】【嗓】【子】【吼】【了】【一】【句】。 【李】【少】【洪】【的】【心】【往】【深】【渊】【沉】【去】，【无】【比】【纠】【结】，【这】【么】【紧】【张】【的】【气】【氛】【下】，【他】【原】【本】【以】【为】【不】【会】【有】【人】【注】【意】【到】【这】【些】【细】【枝】【旁】【节】，【你】【说】【都】【要】【准】【备】【要】【杀】【光】【我】【们】【这】【一】【群】【人】，【你】【还】【管】【这】【些】【人】【身】【上】【有】【什】【么】【东】【西】，【真】【是】【活】【见】【鬼】。 【很】【快】【两】【个】【黑】【衣】【人】【开】【始】【检】【查】【起】【众】【人】【了】，【李】【少】【洪】【的】【眼】【睛】【虽】【然】【看】【着】【赌】【桌】【上】【新】【一】【轮】【的】【发】
“【嘶】。【好】【恐】【怖】【的】【力】【量】。【居】【然】【能】【逼】【迫】【着】【虚】【空】【断】【裂】，【大】【概】【世】【界】【毁】【灭】【也】【就】【是】【这】【个】【样】【子】【了】。【看】【来】【我】【们】【会】【一】【瞬】【间】【被】【这】【黑】【洞】【飞】【绞】【成】【颗】【粒】。” 【漫】【天】【的】【雷】【音】【轰】【隆】【入】【耳】，【忆】【悠】【远】【顿】【时】【被】【震】【得】【头】【晕】【目】【眩】，【胸】【口】【压】【堵】，【高】【压】【带】【强】【闪】，【这】【里】【简】【直】【是】【比】【佛】【界】【的】【大】【渊】【还】【要】【恐】【怖】。 “【嗯】。【这】【黑】【洞】【的】【形】【状】【能】【大】【能】【小】。【中】【心】【极】【有】【可】【能】【是】【某】
“【团】【座】，【小】【鬼】【子】【马】【上】【就】【要】【追】【来】【了】，【我】【们】【现】【在】【怎】【么】【办】？” 【陈】【铭】【将】【眼】【下】【局】【势】【简】【单】【做】【了】【一】【个】【介】【绍】，【然】【后】【问】【道】。 【包】【括】【他】【在】【内】，【不】【知】【道】【为】【什】【么】，【哪】【怕】【此】【刻】【团】【座】【杨】【尘】【身】【受】【重】【伤】，【但】【只】【要】【他】【在】。 【他】【们】【就】【一】【点】【不】【慌】。 “【我】【们】【的】【伤】【员】【太】【多】，【全】【部】【一】【起】【撤】【退】【的】【话】，【恐】【被】【小】【鬼】【子】【追】【上】。 【所】【以】，【五】【营】【留】【下】【来】【断】【后】。 【其】【余】【各】