While it’s difficult to place a valuation on the NFL as a whole, the league’s 32 franchises were worth a combined sum of more than $91 billion as of last September, according to Forbes. The average NFL franchise has a valuation of $2.86 billion, up 11 percent compared to one year ago and higher than the average valuations in Major League Baseball, the National Basketball Association and the National Hockey League.
The Dallas Cowboys are the most valuable NFL franchise, with an estimated valuation of $5.5 billion and $950 million in annual revenue. The Buffalo Bills are the least valuable NFL franchise, with an estimated valuation of $1.9 billion.
The NFL generated more than $16 billion in revenue in 2018 alone, more than half of which was distributed to its 32 franchises. Under the NFL’s current collective-bargaining agreement, players are entitled to no more than 48.5 percent of league revenue.
The league’s long-term contracts with Fox, NBC, ESPN and other properties account for the majority of its annual revenue. The partnerships are worth more than $5 billion in annual revenue – a massive sum that is likely to rise even higher when the contracts expire in the coming years.
ESPN’s deal for rights to the prime-time “Monday Night Football” package expires in 2021, setting up a potential bidding war with other networks for the blue-chip property.
The NFL and the NFL Players Association are in the midst of labor negotiations that could yield a change to how the league divides revenue. The potential addition of a 17th regular-season game and additional playoff game to the schedule would provide new sources of money.