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The NFL is ready to start the 2021 season – here’s what’s happening in the league and off the field

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Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Brandon Smith (80) will make his debut on August 29, 2021 at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas in a match between the Dallas Cowboys and the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Matthew Pierce | Sportswire icon | Getty Images

The National Football League is on time and ready to start its 102nd season on Thursday.

Current Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay will play the Buccaneers against the Dallas Cowboys, which should be a highly rated opening between two famous quarterback defenders – Tom Brady and Duck Prescott. Meanwhile, the NFL’s overall opponent remains Covid, more options are being developed and they are afraid of a wave of other situations in the fall.

The positive situation affected the opening of the season, with the Cowboys missing the game with attacking striker Zach Martin. And last month, there was a mini-epidemic on the Tennessee Titanic. The NFL says more than 99% of league and team employees are vaccinated, but more positive cases are expected this season, even among those vaccinated. Still, the championship is determined to finish the season on time. The NFL has already fined players for Kovid-related offenses and threatened to beat teams that didn’t follow the rules.

So the show continues. Here’s a brief look at what’s going on in the business before the start of the 2021 NFL season.

Chasing 100 million viewers

After agreeing to spend more than $ 100 billion on media rights over the next decade, NFL viewers will remain in the headlines this season, especially when networks increase the speed of advertising to pay for their investments. .

ViacomCBS will use the NFL lineup and return the Nickelodeon game in the post-season period. Children’s TV was popular and could attract vendors looking for a younger audience. And NBCUniversal’s parent company Super Bowl broadcast could attract 100 million viewers. The 2022 Super Bowl advertising rate is expected to increase from $ 5.5 million to $ 6 million this year. In that case, CBS Sports could withhold $ 545 million in revenue from the 2021 game.

The question arises: in the new environment of television consumption, can the NFL’s best choice always attract more than 100 million viewers?

After being held for nine years in the Super Bowl, it has failed to attract 100 million spectators in the last two years of the last three years. The 2021 game averaged 96.4 million viewers (including broadcasts) for the Bucs and Kansas City Leaders meeting. This Super Bowl game is the least watched since 2007.

NBC last aired the Super Cup in 2018 and attracted more than 100 million viewers. The 2015 game between the New England Patriots and the Seattle Seahawks remains the most-watched Super Bowl with nearly 114 million viewers, and that game was also NBC.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) celebrates with the Vince Lombardi Cup after defeating Kansas City leaders in the Super Bowl LV at Raymond James Stadium.

Mark J. Rebilas | USA TODAY Sport |

Brady needs to help get things started

In both games, there was Brady, who started 2021 strong on and off the field.

Brady, 44, won his seventh Super Cup as the Bulls overtook the bosses to buy Patrick Mahomes ’best-selling brand. He even got into the NFT business. On Thursday, he will also aim to climb the record books.

NBC-Sports analyst Drew Brees needs 300 points to join as the only two players in NFL history to have played at least 100 300 or more distances. Doing this at the first meeting should only help the story part of the broadcast.

NBC aims to exceed an average of 19.3 million viewers, opening for the Chiefs and Houston Texans games last year. According to advertising firm EDO, the network will incur nearly $ 50 million in advertising costs for NFL openers.

NFL season is an “important event” for bookmakers

And when football is back, more sports betting is looking to make more money around NFL games.

According to the American Gaming Association, in the 2021 season, 45.2 Americans bet $ 19.5 million on games. The company said Americans “invested $ 27 billion in sports in the first seven months of 2021, raising $ 350 million from federal, state and local taxes.

With legal gambling allowed in Michigan, Virginia and Arizona, PlayUSA, which oversees sports betting marketing in the U.S., estimates players can bet more than $ 20 billion this season on NFL and college football.

For now, the favorites and heads to win the Super Cup. A New Jersey native bets $ 38,000 to finish with a record. The bet was made through Caesars Sportsbook and could drop to $ 1.3 million if the bulls are not defeated.

Eric Hess, co-founder of digital company Caesars Entertainment, which uses the sports book, called the start of the NFL season an “important event”.

He said Caesars ’tech teams are testing their systems using a large number of pledges and transactions at the same time to prepare for the NFL games this weekend.

“Everyone [sportsbook] The NFL recognizes that this is a major betting opportunity for the season and a real catalyst for engaging customers to access your property, download your app, or participate in the betting experience, Hess said Wednesday.

Hess said Caesars has invested more than $ 400 million around its product and offered a $ 25 million weekly bonus during the season. In this product, seamstresses bet $ 10 and try to predict the odds for each NFL game. The Parlay card can be purchased in New Jersey, Washington and Nevada.

With the return of visits to the NFL and the reactivation of restaurants and sports bars after the pandemic closed in the 2020 season, Hess predicted a “sharp” increase in sports games.

The NFL business continues

Caesars is one of the top three betting companies that signed an exclusive deal with the NFL in April last year. The deal allows Caesars to use NFL intellectual property around sports betting offers, which will help the league increase national revenue.

According to Green Bay Packers shareholders, the NFL earned nearly $ 9.8 billion in national revenue, with 32 teams each earning a record $ 309 million. A large portion of NFL revenue comes from media rights and sponsorship funds, which raised $ 1.62 billion last season.

Preliminary estimates by IEG-sponsored appraisal company show that figure will rise to $ 1.72 billion for next season. In addition, IEG noted that Cisco’s technological sponsorship revenues from Microsoft and the agreement with Diageo, an alcoholic beverage company, will help the NFL develop sponsorship money.

DeMaurice Smith, Executive Director of the National Football League Players Association, during an NFLPA press conference on January 30, 2020, at the Miami Beach Convention Center in Miami Beach (FL).

Boy Graessle | Sportswire icon | Getty Images

The NFLPA to start its own domestic business

On the part of the players, expect that discussions around Covid protocols and vaccines will continue throughout the league throughout the year.

The union continues to conduct daily tests to help prevent an epidemic for each player, but the NFL has approved daily tests for players who are vaccinated once a week and those who are not. There is also an internal business that the NFLPA solves, leaving aside the problems with Kovid.

The future of CEO DeMauris Smith remains unclear, but this month will reveal more. First, NFL players begin the selection process to determine if Smith will lobby to keep their position unrivaled. Smith must vote unanimously between the NFLPA executive committee or get the approval of the NFLP’s board of directors, which consists of players from all 32 clubs. Here, Smith will need at least 17 of the 32 votes to retain the executive directorship, otherwise the opposition will oppose it.

Smith was first elected in 2009, winning three elections to retain the position. Under Smith’s leadership, the NFLPA expanded its business, including entering into a shareholder agreement with Fanatics that would assume the rights to sell its trading cards. Under Smith, the NFLPA also renewed its license agreement with Electronic Arts, the creator of the popular Madden video game franchise, and expanded its involvement in professional video games.

Smith also signed a new 10-year collective deal with the NFL owners last year. Under the deal, the minimum wage for inexperienced players has increased by another $ 660,000 this season, up from $ 610,000 in 2020. That figure will increase to $ 45,000 per season for the rest of the deal and will hold $ 1 million by 2030.

But that CBA deal depends on Smith’s future.

The NFL added another season game thanks to the pact. Some players are still frustrated by this, blaming union leadership for the additional health risks associated with the added races. When asked about Smith’s future after the 2020 employment contract, executive committee member Lorenzo Alexander said the unanimous decision would not be made by the executive group.

“I can tell you based on what happened last year, or maybe it will open up to the board and they will have a chance to decide what happens next,” Alexander said in March 2020.

Disclosure: NBCUniversal is the parent company of the company.

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