Chart: Only 8.3 Percent Of NFL Broadcast Is Actual Game Play

by NESN Staff

October 14, 2014

Kansas City ChiefsAmericans really love to watch football, even if more than 90 percent of what they watch on Sundays isn’t actual football.

Despite the popularity of the NFL, just 8.3 percent of a three-hour game broadcast is actually live play, according to data compiled by Vox.com. The greatest proportion of a broadcast — 35.5 percent — is “players standing around between plays,” with another 24.5 percent made up of commercials, according to Vox.

More people in the U.S. spend their Sundays watching football than attending church services. Just under two-thirds of Americans regularly watch football via various electronic devices, but it turns out most of what they’re watching is not actually game play.

According to a study done by the Wall Street Journal in 2010, the ball is only in play for an average of 11 minutes per every 60 minute game. The NFL requires 20 commercial breaks per game, which contributes to the length of broadcasts.

Even replays rank higher than game action in percentage of an NFL broadcast, at 10.7 percent, per Vox. So, essentially, fans spend more time on Sundays watching things they have already seen than watching new plays.

Photo via Kelley L. Cox/USA TODAY Sports Images

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