I don’t find this hard to believe. Right now the NFL is mainly an American sport with a some International attention, not counting the Super Bowl of course. The real secret to the success of the NFL is are the very things that could limit it’s growth. The short season, relative to other sports, is one area that is a double edge sword. While the anticipation of the season is one of the great things the league has going for it, it is also the long off season that limits the NFL from more money coming in. This is where the idea, a bad one, of an 18 game season came from. With injuries already an issue you simply cannot dilute the talent pool by extending such a physical game and expect the athletes to hold up.
This leaves the question of where does the NFL grow over the next decade. The obvious is in support of “farm” leagues in Europe and other places the sport has room to grow. Those would not be the NFL product we love though. Not to mention that the NCAA is very happy to play that roll now. The only option I see, some of which is in place, is off season coverage increasing. As I mentioned this is tricky though. If you look at Baseball for example. I don’t even turn on the TV until October and have very little interest in the game anymore. The NFL will have to balance out what is “too much” while also giving fans more. NFL draft live stream The showing of the NFL combine and NFLdraft day is one example of off season coverage people crave.
Fantasy football also plays a bigger role than people think in the popularity of the game. The NFL knows this and that is why they have programming dedicated to it. The fantasy aspect will continue to grow and demand more information and access which I believe will drive more off season coverage on teams.
There is no doubt the NFL will find a way to expand and they will do it well. The NFL has found the secret to success and they continue to adapt and adjust to give fans what they want. Even in the notorious Green Bay Packers “loss” to the Seattle Seahawks the NFL reacted quickly and got the fans what they wanted, the real officials back. Even though the league office didn’t cave and give the game to the Packers, they still reacted quickly to cut off any future bleeding of the integrity of the product.
I look forward to seeing what type of expansion the sport moves to next. I don’t believe they will add teams and erase the unique parody that the NFL seems to have an exclusive on. I think the move will be to watch team activities and give more access during the down time, without losing the anticipation of the start of the NFL season.