“Together with our broadcast partners, we will be working to meaningfully reduce down time and the frequency of commercial breaks in our game. We will also be giving our broadcast partners increased flexibility to avoid untimely breaks in the action. For example, we know how annoying it is when we come back from a commercial break, kick off, and then cut to a commercial again. I hate that too. Our goal is to eliminate it,” Goodell wrote.
According to FierceCable, Goodell also acknowledged that fans feel there are “too many elements in the broadcast that aren't relevant to the play on the field” and that the NFL and broadcasters will be “looking to instead focus on content that is most complementary and compelling to you—whether that is analysis, highlights or stories about our players.”
The NFL has been in talks to reduce ad loads for months. At the NAB Show New York last November, NFL Network CEO Brian Rolapp talked about the league’s sagging ratings and ways it and its broadcast partners were looking to improve the experience for viewers.
“We have lots of ideas for improving viewership,” said Rolapp, detailing conversations the League is having with its broadcast partners about not just cutting out commercials, but also spreading them out differently.
In December, the NFL reportedly cut down the amount of ad breaks during a quarter. According to Ad Age, the NFL took the normal five ad breaks per quarter down to four but still carried the identical ad load, making the breaks longer.