Each of the 32 NFL teams received just over $400 million from the league office for the 2023 season, according to several sources familiar with the league’s finances who requested anonymity due to lack of authorization to speak publicly. This amount represents a 6% to 8% increase from the 2022 season, varying based on the accounting methods used by different teams.

This sum includes national media rights, league sponsorships, and shared revenue and royalties from various league affiliates and subsidiaries, such as NFL Properties, NFL International, and NFL Enterprises, totaling approximately $13 billion. The NFL declined to comment on these figures.

The NFL’s economic model is highly admired across major sports leagues due to two key principles. The system benefits from a relatively hard salary cap that prevents owners from excessive spending, avoiding luxury tax penalties similar to the NBA. In 2023, the NFL salary cap was set at $224.8 million, with each team also responsible for significant player benefits, stadium costs, and team expenses.

Another significant advantage is the guaranteed revenue from the league, which far exceeds the salary cap before a team generates any additional income from ticket sales, concessions, sponsorships, or parking. As a result, every NFL team is highly profitable and valued at a minimum of $4 billion, with the average franchise value being $5.14 billion last year.

The league’s media rights contracts with ESPN, Fox, CBS, NBC, Amazon, and YouTube constitute the majority of the equally shared revenue. The 2023 season marked the beginning of the latest round of these deals, valued at a minimum of $125 billion over 11 years.

In 2023, the NFL also had more than three dozen league sponsors, many of which have been partners for several decades, including Gatorade, Visa, Campbell Soup, and FedEx. Additionally, Oakley and Lowe’s extended their sponsorship deals last year.

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The national payout has increased by 115% over the past decade and is expected to rise at a similar rate over the next decade, potentially exceeding $800 million per team with the new media deals.

Teams also receive additional revenue from shared gate receipts, which require 34% of each team’s ticket revenue to be pooled and distributed equally. This adds over $20 million per team. Including the gate receipts, equally shared revenue accounted for 68% of the $20 billion generated by the 32 teams in 2023.

The Green Bay Packers annually release a report providing insight into NFL finances, including the national revenue figure. However, teams record national revenue differently on their income statements. Sportico spoke with four teams about their 2023 national revenue, revealing varying figures of $402 million, $404 million, $418 million, and $425 million.

These discrepancies are due to the timing of payments and expense deductions. Additionally, teams featured in preseason games on national TV or radio receive a small increase in revenue to compensate for lost local media revenue, as some fans opt for the national feed over the local one, affecting the game’s value.

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