The AP reports Broadcasters are already seeing a drop in ad revenue for NFL games because of the global economic crisis, league commissioner Roger Goodell said Friday. At a conference on the globalization of sports held ahead of Sunday’s NFL game in London, Goodell also reiterated that the league will face challenges in the current economic climate, but that the NFL is "incredibly strong" and should weather the downturn relatively unscathed. However, he said network partners are already reporting that advertisers are pulling back, both on a local and national level.
"The sales market is different than it was even several weeks ago," Goodell said during a panel discussion with Richard Scudamore, the chief executive of the English Premier League. "We see it primarily on a local level, which I think is through a large extent a reflection of what is happening in the automobile industry. But it has now in the recent weeks gone to the national level. It’s had an impact. The fortunate thing is that it hasn’t had an impact on our viewership."
Goodell did not give any specific figures for the ad drop, but did say he was confident that ad sales for the games would stabilize even in the short term, adding that holding onto sponsors would be a bigger long-term problem for the league.