Sportress of Blogitude

Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti: Too many commercials during NFL broadcasts

Baltimore Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti believes there’s a relatively simple solution to solve the ratings woes suffered by the NFL this past season: Reduce the “absurd” amount of commercials and breaks in the action.

“It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that nobody wants to see two minutes of commercials, come back, kick the ball and then go to a minute-and-a-half of commercials,” Bisciotti said recently, via the Ravens’ official site. “I’ve thought that was absurd since I was 20 years old.”

It’s not quite as simple to implement as set forward, though. Bisciotti rightfully acknowledges that reducing the amount of commercials during NFL games would likely reduce league revenues. But there are other options available, such as figuring out new and innovative ways to incorporate advertising into games without the all-too-frequent commercial breaks.

Bisciotti does make the interesting point that it would be the players who would likely suffer from lower league revenue — by way of a reduced salary cap — not the owners.

“We’ve got to figure that out,” Bisciotti said. “Again, if you change that, it could mean a reduction in income, but that’s going to hit the players more significantly than it’s going to hit the owners. I still don’t know any owner that’s in this business because of the money.

“Everything is on the table, and if we have to go to ABC and NBC and say that we’ve got to cut some commercials out and give some money back and half of that money doesn’t go into the player pool, maybe that’s what we’re going to have to do. But our expenses would be adjusted accordingly too. So, I’d like to see some things cleaned up.”

Bisciotti added that dwindling television ratings may not be an NFL-specific issue but an issue plaguing the medium as a whole. But the Ravens owner does make some interesting points and his suggestion merits some exploration by the league.

Either way, the NFL has no choice but to examine the reasons behind the precipitous drop in ratings this past season, whatever those causes may be, and find ways to lure back lost viewers.