Monday Night Football Popularity

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Super Bowl 50 had the third largest audience of any television broadcast in the history of television, with only Super Bowl 49 and Super Bowl 48 having larger audiences. But how did the NFL grow to become this popular? There appear to be many factors in the constant growth of the popularity, power and profits of the NFL since the 1970s. Some of these factors include Monday Night Football, new technologies providing new ways to draw fans and the NFL’s monopoly on professional football. The most significant factor is the NFL’s professional football monopoly. The growth of these three facets, popularity, power and profits, are related. The growth in popularity has caused the growth of profits and power as the growth of popularity has increased …show more content…
Monday Night Football brought football into primetime television, which helped increase its popularity. Additionally, Monday Night Football emphasised the pageantry of the game and worked to provide entertainment, not just another football game. This helped draw women and fans who were otherwise tired of football for the week (Crepeau pg 96). The choice to show Monday Night Football at prime time also helped boost the popularity of the NFL. By showing football during the period when the most people were watching television, it increased the number of people who watched football. It also may have benefited from being a way to lessen the frustration with the beginning of the work week. In addition to the improvement in popularity Monday Night Football provides, Monday Night Football also directly provides a boost to the NFL’s profits by doubling the amount of football to sell to …show more content…
This storytelling aspect can be seen in the use of highlights and the commentary itself becoming a focal point. Some people made accusations that the reporting was “sports lite” and inferior (Crepeau pg 103). However, by using highlights of games and emphasising “sensational plays” and “the flamboyant personality”, it drew attention by catering to short attention spans (Crepeau pg 104). In a culture that emphasises instant gratification, indulging short attention spans is important to success. The pageantry inspired by Monday Night Football contributed to the growth of the NFL’s popularity. New technologies have helped the NFL grow in popularity through its life. Television was the most important development for the growth of professional football. The embrace between football and television was so strong, football has been described as “the perfect television game” (Crepeau pg 92) This development allowed the NFL to build up its popularity to set the stage for the constant climb in popularity starting in the 1970s (Crepeau pg 92). Even now, with television losing its popularity, televised NFL events, such as the Super Bowl and draft, still draw large and even growing audiences (Crepeau pg

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