The Average NFL Game Has Only 11 Minutes Of Action

The Average NFL Game Has Only 11 Minutes Of Action

Anyone who has ever tuned into an NFL broadcast knows that plenty of air time is spent showing players huddling, coaches yelling, and fans cheering. That's because while the on-field action can be exciting, it's usually short-lived. In fact, according to a 2010 Wall Street Journal study of four football broadcasts, the ball was only in play for an average of 10 minutes and 43 seconds — approximately 4 seconds per play — even though an NFL telecast lasts about 3 hours. "The Journal broke down every frame of the broadcasts for four games on four networks on one weekend in late December," according to the article that elaborated on the study. "Each shot in every broadcast was timed and logged in one of 22 categories." So what's happening for the rest of the broadcast? Commercials, for one. They demand about an hour of airtime. Replays take about 17 minutes, footage of cheerleaders command about 3 seconds, and shots of players standing around make up an average of 67 minutes, according to WSJ. So why are football broadcasts such a production if there's so little action? Find out in the videos below.

What Happens During A Football Broadcast?

Hear the breakdown of what you're actually watching.

Turning NFL Into Primetime Television

What goes into the production of a football game?

The Highest Scoring Football Game of All Time

Final score: 222-0.

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