Despite its relatively low global interest, the National Football League reigns supreme when it comes to total revenue.  The NFL generates about $10 billion in domestic broadcast revenue each year.  

This number alone is impressive, but keeping in mind that the American league consists of just over 270 games per season, it’s even more monumental.  

More TV revenue from far fewer games

The Premier League also generates fairly similar revenue as the NFL; however England’s top flight consists of nearly 400 matches per year.  Top teams in European competitions obviously play even more games as well.  

FIFA and UEFA are even expanding their schedules in the coming years.  The Champions League will grow from 32 teams to 36, which adds 64 new games to the already packed fixture list.

The World Cup will also expand as well.  Beginning with the 2026 World Cup, hosted in part by the United States, the tournament will consist of 48 teams.  This is an increase of 16 teams compared to the upcoming World Cup in Qatar next month.

Earlier this week, Real Madrid President Florentino Perez lambasted the sport’s governing bodies’ decisions to add more games to the schedule.

“We cannot understand that UEFA increases the number of inconsequential games in a new model that will only serve to further alienate fans and accelerate the decline of football,” proclaimed Perez.  

Perez even referenced the NFL’s popularity compared to their relatively light schedule.  “Only the NFL, with 285 games per season, exceeds the audiovisual revenue of the Champions, Europa League, and five major European leagues together with more than 2,000 games per year,” continued Perez.  “There are no excuses, the data does not admit discussion, soccer is clearly losing the battle of entertainment.” 

While soccer fans may be getting bored of the heavy schedule (low interest in Nations League games for example), FIFA and UEFA clearly don’t care.  These organizations are attempting to compete with the NFL by just creating more games.

Players are also getting burned out as well.  Injuries are on the rise throughout the sport.  A recent report has even suggested that injuries in the Premier League are up 20% compared to the previous season.

Photo credit: IMAGO / Icon Sportswire