Roger Goodell envisions more overseas games, more streaming and more cities hosting the NFL draft

NFL Draft Football
Posted at 10:36 PM, Apr 25, 2024

DETROIT (AP) — NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said Thursday night at the draft that he envisions a dramatic increase in international games in the coming years.

“I honestly think we’ll be playing 16 games internationally if you go 10 years out,” Goodell said during a TV interview on ESPN. “I think we’ll try to get to eight or nine in the next couple years.”

The league will play three games in England, one game in Germany, and one game in Brazil in 2024.

“The reaction we’re getting from the fans every time we play in a new market is incredible,” Goodell said, “so we’ll continue to play in London, we’ll continue to play in Germany and I hope continue to play in Brazil. We’ll be back in Mexico, but there are a lot of other markets that — obviously, we’re going to go to Spain next year, we’ve already planned that — but there are a lot of markets that want us to play there and we’re actively looking at all those, exploring that.”

Goodell also said streaming is here to stay.

“As you know, we go for the broadest possible distribution we can. We want to make our games available to the widest audience we possibly can," Goodell said. "But also I think the streaming platforms give us more interaction. There are more opportunities to do alternative broadcasts. There’s more interaction for the fans if they want that interaction.

"So we’ve been incredibly happy with our Thursday night package on Amazon Prime. YouTube had our Sunday Ticket this year. Again, tremendous growth, and I think the fans really enjoyed it. And in each of those platforms, our average age of our audience went down eight to 10 years. So that’s where a lot of people are that we need to reach, and that’s why we’re investing in it.”

Goodell also said the league will continue to rotate the draft through different cities as it has since 2015 when the draft was moved out of New York City. The only exception was 2020, which was virtual because of the pandemic.

This year’s draft was held in Detroit. Next year’s will be in Green Bay.

“We have a lot of communities that want to have the draft, and I think we’ll continue to try to move this around and share it with other communities and bring the fans, but we always try to innovate something new every year,” Goodell said.