INFOGRAPHIC: There’s only 11 minutes of actual action in an NFL game
Ever feel like you spend more time on Sundays watching commercials and talking heads than you do watching football being played? Well, The Wall Street Journal Online put together this fascinating breakdown of four recent NFL broadcasts, and you might be amazed at how little of the 3-hour plus broadcast is devoted to actual gameplay.
According to the study, in an average pro football game, the ball is in play for only ELEVEN minutes. Which means that during a 60-minute game, 49 minutes are whittled away while the clock runs between plays. And since the average play only lasts around 4 seconds, that puts ratio of inaction to action during a game at approximately 10:1 … and that’s just while the clock is running!
So what do the networks do with the other 174 minutes in a typical broadcast? Not surprisingly, commercials take up about an hour. As many as 75 minutes, or about 60% of the total air time, excluding commercials, is spent on shots of players huddling, standing at the line of scrimmage or just generally milling about between snaps. In the four broadcasts The Journal studied, injured players got six more seconds of camera time than celebrating players. While the network announcers showed up on screen for just 30 seconds, shots of the head coaches and referees took up about 7% of the average show.
I guess this really shouldn’t come as a shock, should it? I mean, we already know that football has a lot of dead time in between plays, and with the added value of commercial revenue over the years, we’ve seen a gradual increase in TV time-outs to help pad the league’s bank accounts. And just because the ball hasn’t been snapped, doesn’t mean there’s nothing going on. Football is a chess match, and the adjustments & decisions that are made between plays can effect the outcome as much as the plays themselves.
But if you’re interested in a more detailed breakdown of how those precious minutes of your life (which you’ll never get back) are being wasted, go ahead and click on the banner image above.
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