NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s decision to reinstate the league’s new call-to-play rule in Week 15 is expected to cost the league a little more than $5 million a year, according to an estimate from the National Football League Players Association.
The $5.4 million estimate was provided to the league on Thursday, days before the league announced that it was reducing its call-in fee from $10 to $5 per call.
Goodell made the announcement Wednesday in New York City, where he unveiled his plan to boost revenue by increasing the leaguewide broadcast revenue from $3 billion to $6 billion and by eliminating the 10-second rule, which has become a major problem in the NFL.
The league’s revenue increase is projected to bring in $5 billion annually, according the NFLPA.
The NFL has been trying to rein in the calls that are the most popular with fans and have become the main source of revenue for the league.
The call-ins are allowed because they are called by the refs.
“The new call in rules are a huge step forward,” said Mike Florio, a veteran NFL analyst who is now the senior analyst for Fox Sports.
“It’s going to make us more competitive, and it’s going in the right direction.”
The NFL announced Thursday that it is cutting the call-out fee by one-quarter of a percent and eliminating the rule.
The union estimates that the cut will save the league $1.5 million per year.
The new rule is expected change the way players and fans watch the games on TV.
Instead of being able to call in on the field during a game, players and other fans will be able to listen to a call on the air during the course of the game.
The change also should improve the quality of play on the sidelines.
“We know this is a change in the way the game is being played,” Goodell said at a news conference in New Orleans.
“And this is an important step forward in the evolution of our business.
But the cost to us will be borne by fans, players, the broadcasters, the referees, the players, and the league.”
The $10 per call-back fee was created by the league in 2008 as part of its effort to address the complaints of many fans about refs calling unnecessary plays during games.
Goodell said the fee will be lowered this year and in subsequent years to help the league achieve its goal of raising revenue by 50 percent by 2020.
The cost of the new call ins will come from an increase in the league-wide broadcast fee, the NFL Players Association said.
The association has been working for more than a year to raise the fees, and has reached a tentative agreement with the league and the union to keep them at the current level of $5 for all games.
The increase will cost the NFL $5 to $10 million a season, the union said.
“In the end, we will all benefit,” Goodell told reporters.
The move comes on the heels of a conference call with owners and executives in New England, where the league has been grappling with its growing audience.
The conference call was held after the league released its financials for the first half of the season and was held in conjunction with a weeklong All-Star game in Los Angeles.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said he will reduce the $10 call-up fee from the current $10 in 2018-19 to $4 per call in 2019-20, $3 per call for the remainder of the year and $2 per call during the 2020-21 season.
Goodell also said he wants to lower the fee for the 10 second rule.
“If we’re going to be in a position to provide a better product, we have to be competitive,” Goodell added.
“This is a good starting point for us.”