NFL Might Shorten Games to Woo Back Viewers

Roger Goodall also addresses poor officiating and Donald Trump
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 11, 2016 4:30 PM CST
NFL Considers Cutting Ads to Shorten Games
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell showing just how much longer games have gotten, probably.   (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)

(Newser) – Are fewer ads and faster games in the NFL's future? Commissioner Roger Goodell said they very well could be while addressing the league's falling television ratings Thursday. The New York Times reports ratings are down by double digits, and while Goodell is largely placing blame on the presidential election and changing methods of watching games, he noted that fans are annoyed by long games, frequent commercials, and video reviews. An average NFL game last season lasted 3 hours and 8 minutes; that's up six minutes from 2008. Goodell said potential solutions include taking fewer commercial breaks and changing when they occur and somehow speeding up video reviews. "We want to take as much what we call dead time, non-action out of the game," he said.

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Goodell also took the opportunity Thursday to address complaints about poor officiating in the NFL and Donald Trump. The commissioner said the league doesn't need officials who are full-time employees because other leagues have them and there are still blown calls, the Washington Post reports. He said video replay could be the answer, but then you run into the problem of slow, overlong games again. As for Trump, Goodell said the president elect's statements on women will make it harder for the NFL to prevent domestic violence among its players, according to USA Today. He said he's had a hard time explaining Trump's comments to his two daughters. (Read more NFL stories.)

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